How to have a Gospel pedicure
Sun, Feb 10, 2019
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” -- Romans 10:14–15 (ESV) Maybe your feet look better then mine, but I would not point to them as my most attractive feature. Paul says that feet can be beautiful, not because they are neatly groomed, polished, or accented. He calls them beautiful because of their ability to carry an important message to those who haven't heard. This week we continue our exploration of Romans 10. In this section Paul tells us what part we play in God's unfolding plan of redemption. It's one that we are often hesitant to carry out. With the knowledge of the gospel and hope of God's saving work, Paul calls us to go and to speak.
How not to be a zealot
Sun, Feb 03, 2019
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. - Romans 10:2–4 (ESV) When you think of an 'on fire' Christian what does he/she look like? Often those that are new to Christianity are not just as 'saved' but 'SAVED, SAVED!' They are busy with the disciplines, telling people about Christ, and rooting out sin in every corner of their life. We look at them and wish we could re-ignite that passion, but is that the best? Is that what Christianity is like? In Romans 10, Paul returns to his desire to see the Jewish people come to Christ, but in their passion they missed something fundamental. Take some time to read through Romans 10. See if you can identify what that might be, and why it is important.
The Problem with Predestination - Part 3
Sun, Jan 27, 2019
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” - Romans 9:19–20 (ESV) Job is one of the most comforting and terrifying books in the Bible. In it we see God's control over all things. We see his power to both restrain and allow hardship, difficulty, and evil. We also see the very limited human struggle of trying to make sense of it all. It is human and even Christian to struggle to understand the purposes and plans of God while struggling in faith, but there is also a line where struggling becomes contending. It's where we think we know more and could rearrange the world into a better place. Our version of reality would be better. This is the question and struggle that Paul confronts in the 3rd objection to God's providence. Take some time before this weekend to read back through Romans 9 as we approach the purpose and plans of God in salvation. Pay special attention to the end of the chapter as it will lead us to the communion table as we remember being brought from outside the promises to a member of God's family through Christ.
The Problem with Predestination - Part 2
Sun, Jan 20, 2019
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” - Romans 9:6–7 (ESV) Struggling to understand God's purpose, plan, and predestination is not unusual. In fact I expect it. Many people over the centuries have. One of those was a British Monk named Pelagus in the 4th century. His story and objections provide us some insight not only into church history but the orthodox boundaries of the debate. In wanting to reconcile these things he denied some clear teaching of scripture and fell into heresy. It's worth some time to read his story. This week, we will continue to struggle with these truths alongside Paul. He raises important questions. Did God's Word fail when he chose Israel, but now they aren't following Christ? Or is God unjust to choose some and not others? I encourage you to read through Romans 9 before Sunday so that you can be ready for us to struggle together with it.
The Problem with Predestination - Part 1
Sun, Jan 13, 2019
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.- Romans 9:1–3 (ESV) When it comes to Romans 9-11 many people want to skip over it. It deals with a few subjects that can be not only difficult to understand but controversial. The outline and explanations of God's work in salvation in Romans 1-8 lay out this grand landscape of what God has done. Romans 12-15 give us direct and practical applications to live out this new life of faith, but in the middle people see some theological doldrums, Romans 9-11. These chapters contain some important pieces that connect us to the character of God, situate us in the Biblical storyline, provide us assurance, and motivate us to live out the mercies of God. As we head into these chapters I want to encourage you to read through them and become familiar with them. We will examine the sovereign call of God by first looking at the place and plight of the nation of Israel. Did God change His mind about them? Or did his plan fail?
Romans 1 to 8 Recap
Sun, Jan 06, 2019
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. - Romans 8:29–30 (ESV) When it comes to cars there are people that want to know all the specs and there are those that just want it to run. (The details of horsepower, fuel injection, compression ration, head pressure, and gear ratio are music to some people's ears. To others that list sounded like a bunch of words that were indistinguishable from a flux capacitor or oil flange.) At one level both those positions work with a car. Even knowing a little about a car can help you maintain it. And give you some basic understanding when something goes wrong. Theology, and specifically the gospel, are a little different. We may just want it 'to work'. Understanding what God has done in Christ is critical not only in our initial profession of faith, but for our ongoing growth, trust, and rest in Christ. Through our series in Romans we have been taking a look under the hood of salvation. Maybe you have missed some parts. Maybe you don't see the big picture. Maybe in all the craziness of the last few months it all seems a bit fuzzy. This week before we dive into Romans 9-11, we are going to try to get the big picture. I'm going to attempt to review the first 8 chapters of Romans. This will get us oriented and ready to tackle this important section in Romans 9-11 and help us see the connections and arguments that Paul has been laying out. Will you take a few minutes to read through Romans 1-8 in the next couple days? Also, this is a great time to invite someone to join you. This message will attempt to lay out the grand scope of God's gospel work. It should be a great Sunday. See you at 10:30.
Abound in the work of the Lord
Sun, Dec 30, 2018
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. - 1 Cor 15:58
Sun, Dec 23, 2018
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:10–11 (ESV) What part of Christmas celebrations are you most looking forward to? Receiving presents? Giving presents? Spending time with family and friends? We all desire to be loved, especially around Christmas time, but we want that love expressed in different ways for it to seem meaningful to us. Some people call this your 'love language'. Built into Advent is true love. It is love that has been expressed. It has been given not just to those who 'deserve' it or to those who will return it, but has been given to rebels in their rebellion. It's a love that is grander than we can imagine. This Sunday we want to look at this love. Take a few minutes to read John, the 'Apostle of Love', writing to his 'little children' in 1 John 4. It's a simple but important passage not only to display this love, but draw us toward living it out to those around us.
Sun, Dec 16, 2018
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. - 1 Peter 1:8–9 (ESV) The angels told the shepherds that their message was 'Good news with great joy.' We throw around the word 'joy' in our decorations and songs of the season, but what is 'joy'? Is it the warm feelings and happiness that we are to find in this season? Does it come from the gifts or celebrations we attend? What happens when the season isn't filled with joy but sadness? How do we find it again? This week we continue in our Advent celebration by looking at the theme of Joy. Take a few minutes to read through 1 Peter 1. These people were scattered and struggling. They feared, wondering if what they heard and believed was worth their lives. In response, Peter points them to true joy. Come this Sunday and see how he points us to find true joy in this Advent season. Also, this is a great week to invite someone to join us.
Sun, Dec 09, 2018
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” - Luke 2:13–14 (ESV) During this season we see the word 'Peace' beautifully adorned cards and pictures. We echo the words of angels as we sing about peace. We watch the peaceful snow-covered scenes in the movies of the season. We fantasize about experiencing those moments in one of the most frantic, busy, stress-filled times of the year. What ever happened to Peace on Earth? This week as we continue to approach advent we consider this idea of Peace. What were the angels really talking about? How do we find this peace? Is it just something for the Christmas season? Take some time and read through Ephesians 2 which will be our text for Sunday. See if you can find that peace.
Powered by: truthengaged