Sermons

Here is the Church - Introduction

Sun, May 30, 2021
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For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV) In God We Trust You've probably heard or seen that somewhere, right? Most of us probably don't remember a time when our national motto (adopted in 1956) wasn't printed on all of our coins and paper currency. Our national motto encapsulates the beliefs and ideals which we want to guide our Nation. The Nation of Israel had similar, though not formally adopted 'mottos'. The Shema (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃), which serves as the centerpiece of morning and evening Jewish prayers, captures the monotheistic essence of Judaism, "Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." Additionally, tucked away near the end of the song David composed to celebrate the Ark of the Covenant being brought to the tent he'd pitched for it in Jerusalem, is another phrase which became regularly used throughout the rest of Israel's history. 1 Chronicles 16:34 summarizes the nature of God as He revealed Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai, "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" The historic Christian church has similarly composed and used creeds and confessions to make a formal statement of our beliefs as Christians (think of the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed.) This Sunday, we'll enjoy an extended time of musical worship and have a shorter sermon to introduce our summer series "Here is the Church". We'll briefly examine the purpose of a creed or confession and how they inform and help us to understand what we believe about what 'the church' is and how it acts corporately and what 'Christian living' is and what that looks like both corporately and individually. Sola Scriptura (by scripture alone) is a foundational doctrine by which all of our creeds and confessions are derived, so it might be useful to you to prepare for Sunday (and the upcoming series) by looking at some of the scripture passages upon which some of these historical creeds are founded. (e.g. I Timothy 2:5-6 and 3:16; Matthew 16:16; Colossians 1:12-20 and 2:9-15; Romans 10:9-10; John 1:1-3, 10,12-14; Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 12:29-31 and I Corinthians 8:6 and 15:3-4)
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