Topic: Checkerboard Sermon
Lesson PDF link: Checkerboard Sermon
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I have played a lot of chess and some checkers in my time here on earth and therefore I have seen a lot of different styles and color combinations to those boards.
Do you know that these color combos, when put together, can tell a story?
Look at this first picture.
Although not a checkerboard (but a black grid), this is who we all start as. Think of these boards and grids with their colors as the window to the soul.
In the beginning,there is nothing but a dark creepy window with possibly a little glisten. Why?
In Genesis Chapter 3, we see the answer.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Gen 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Adam and Eve fell because the serpent, who we know as Satan, tempted the two and they got duped. This in turn caused us to have a natural and unbreakable bent towards sin and darkness without the grace of Jesus. Notice though the Messianic prophesy in Genesis 3: 15; Satan may hurt us more, but his power is no match for Jesus. This is why the scripture says that the snake will strike the woman's seed on the heel and the snake will get struck on the head by the same. Jesus comes by the power God out of the lineage of David from the Virgin Mary's womb and has human guardians. God is the Father, Mary is the virgin mother, and Joseph is the adoptive earthly father to Baby Jesus. To put things another way, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirt and born of Mary. This allows our black grid to become something totally different. The glisten in this window is a great symbol of being redeemable; we have hope and its waiting to break forth into brilliant perfection.
Next, we see a red and black checkerboard.
The red represeents Jesus' blood and the black represents our continuing sin problem. For the newly saved, this is the start of the faith walk journey in and with Jesus Christ.
Let's look at Luke 5: 27-32; John 1: 35-51
Luk 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
Luk 5:28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
Luk 5:29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
Luk 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
Luk 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Joh 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
Joh 1:37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Joh 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
Joh 1:39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
Joh 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
Joh 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
Joh 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
Joh 1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
Joh 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Joh 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Joh 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Now, on this board I want to also highlight the gold trim around the squares. This represents the Holy Spirit presence that engulfs the new Christian. Jesus died to take away our sin and repair the broken relationship. When Jesus died, he made our sin His own; even though he had no such sins. Jesus has to own us including our faults and sins in order to make us perfect in Him and throw out our nastiness.
Let's look at 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21; Ephesians 1: 3-14
2Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
2Co 5:12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
2Co 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2Co 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Look also at the lower right hand corner of this particular board; there is a brand name, which is Pressman. This is who made the board. When we become Christians, God puts His stamp on us too, a seal of blood. God made us and He has the right to put His brand on us in the form of Jesus' blood. When we rebel against the Lord, we run from receiving this important brand mark; we are unfinished until we allow this to be done.
So, you have a calling, now what? Let's look at the next picture, which is a kind of crimson and cream.
This represents old sins that are still extremely bad memories that only serve to shame (even though forgiven), other memories, fear, doubt and scars that God wants to erase and smooth over. A lot of people are here at this point in their faith journey.
Let's remember Psalm 34: 13-18; 2 Timothy 1: 7-11
Psa 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Paul, here is calling Timothy to stay strong in the faith and be encouraged. At this time the apostles were getting a lot of stiff opposition and if they didn't encourage one another, then there was a risk of faith walk issues. This stage of the faith journey is when you start to realize that if you mess up, your journey continues and God works through mistakes and any leftover sin problems.
Why is this so important to remember?
Well, the answer is obvious; we are human and we are seriously flawed. God must fix our issues of fear and doubt and then His kingdom work will be seen more clearly.
The Bible talks about this truth in Matthew 5: 13- 16.
Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Once God is able to clear the Christian's mind, He can promote the believer to the next step.
Look at this next picture.
This picture is light blue and white and means that the heart is becoming more cleaned out and therefore, more useful than it used to be. Some would say that the light blue represents water from the Holy Spirit that cleanses (I love this thought). The Christian will now become more discerning, disciplined in life and more faithful overall.
The Bible talks about this truth in Hebrews 12: 1- 17
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
The more advanced in our faith that we become, the closer to perfection we are and the less likely we are to turn away from Christ. If we are not developing in faith, then we remain stagnant and then fall backward. This is why we are warned about becoming like Esau. We must endure becoming uncomfortable, we must not become complacent, God disciplines us by teaching us the hard way sometimes because he loves us; we must accept it and let God hone us into sharper, more effective instruments.
Let's look at James 3.
Jas 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Jas 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Jas 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Jas 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Wisdom from Above
Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
This is what I'm talking about. Look at this uncropped picture of the same board.
With this chessboard there is a brand mark as well because this is a Super Mario Chessboard. This makes the brand of the characters Nintendo Of America; there is another brand mark for the actual board, which is USAopoly. In our spiritual faith journey, we can't have God owning the rights to one part of us and the Devil holding rights to another.
Why is this important to remember?
The book of James says that we don't want both good and evil coming out of us because this isn't fitting for the believer. Realistically speaking, no one really knows whose side we're on if we are constantly hypocritical and otherwise hurtful while all the while, making sure to keep up Christian appearance. This means, we would be lying to ourselves and of course others when it comes to a strong faith.
Now let's look at the last picture.
This is the picture that we all strive to be (a white grid window); this one represents perfection in Christ. The squares are all totally white and clear. Unlike our black grid window, which no one can see through, this is truth and light at its finest. True perfection doesn't happen until the believer is actually in Heaven; but the well disciplined, faithful Christian will be made perfect. Even here on earth, perfection has started and is becoming more developed.
Perfection in God's way for us isn't that we can't make a mistake etc., but it is to us that we have unwavering faith and full development in Christ.
Let's look at Isaiah 1: 16-20; Hebrews 13: 20-21; 1 Peter 5: 6-11; 1 John 4: 7-18.
Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Isa 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Isa 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Even the crimson board representing old and bad things will be cleaned spotless
Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Here is one final passage in Revelation 21: 1-8.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The scriptures say that perfection here on earth is being complete and fully able to do the will of God Almighty. True believers must repent of all sin, be truly focused on God and not afraid of judgment, but be courageous in word and deed for the sake of the Gospel. God will take care of the rest, including taking care of the needs of the believer. We, in turn, must spread the blessings of God to others; this ensures that all people will see the mighty works of God clearly. This is why also that preaching about who God is to all people is crucially important, so that no soul be wasted or lost forever.
Then, after everything is said and done, we will be at home in Heaven--citizens forever in service to the King of kings and Lord of lords.