Sermons

Here is The Church

Here is The Church
May 2021 - Jun 2021
This series will focus on renewing our understanding of Jesus’ church and its life. The Elders want to invite you to join us on a journey of renewal of understanding and practice of everything Jesus meant when he told us he was about building his church.

Sermons in this series

This is the Church
Sun, Jun 06, 2021
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:18-22 (ESV) Jesus declared, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church is Jesus’ very purpose, His mission on earth. The Bible teaches clearly what his church is, but how clearly do we understand what the church is? What Jesus means by His church and what our culture understands may be two very different things. Who belongs to the church? What does it take to be part of it? And what does it do? The true church of Jesus is under attack on many fronts, some subtle and some not so. The past year of suffering the consequences of COVID-19 have challenged the very existence and health of the church. We have, due to God’s grace toward us (of which the results of the vaccine are a part), been able to return to unrestricted meeting. With grateful hearts we can renew our purpose as a church and seek the Lord together to live for eternity as part of His church. This summer we will focus on renewing our understanding of Jesus’ church and its life. The Elders want to invite you to join us on a journey of renewal of understanding and practice of everything Jesus meant when he told us he was about building his church.
Here is the Church - Introduction
Sun, May 30, 2021
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)
The Undershepherd's Job Description
Sun, May 23, 2021
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:1–4 (ESV) When I was in seminary, we had chapel a couple times a week. There we would hear from professors, ministry leaders, and alumni. The books of choice to speak to seminary students were the pastoral epistles. That seems appropiate as Paul addresses young pastors. If there were favorite chapters that were taught, they were 2 Timothy 3-4. We were regularly charged to know and trust God's inherent Word and we were told to preach that Word boldly. All of that was helpful in forming us and our committments, but we heard these passages so often that a classmate and I made an agreement, that if for some weird reason we were called on to come back and speak, we would choose other places to preach. So what would I preach? This week I'm going to take you to that passage. It's one that I think has been overlooked to encourage pastors and elders. Why am I going there? Because as I step out of leadership for my sabbatical this summer, I want the leadership team and all of you to hear these important words. Will you take a few minutes to read through 1 Peter 5 to prepare your heart and mind.
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