Archives from May 2021

Legacy: Mission: We Have a Purpose

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

Acts 11:19-30

BIG IDEA: Every Christian has a role to play in the mission of God.

The church at Antioch is used as a model in these verses. Antioch was a center of religious activity during this time period. It was a big city just a few miles south of Jerusalem and there were many different deities worshiped there. Antioch was the first place that followers of Christ were called "christians" and it was meant as a way to mock them. But the church thrived there. 

Four roles in the church

  1. A passion for evangelism (Acts 11:19-21). … We don't know the names of these people doing mission work, but what we do know is they were passionate about Jesus. Passion for evangelism begins with a passion for Christ. They were also willing to engage different cultures. These people weren't from Antioch. They had to travel to get there and had to adapt to a culture that wasn't their own. They also would have had to have trusted in God's guidance. 

  2. A ministry of encouragement (Acts 11:22-24). … Barnabas is known as the son of encouragement. He was generous and invested in people. He earned his nickname by being encouraging and that encouragement led people to Jesus. Everyone could always use some encouragement. Who can you encourage this week? Pray about it and encourage that person. 

  3. Intentional discipleship (Acts 11:25-26). … Barnabas knew his strengths. He was a good encourager and evangelist but he knew a great teacher was needed, so he went and got Paul. Ironically, one of the more prominent pursecuters of Christ followers has become the greatest teacher among them. The reason those people in verse 19 had scattered was because of Saul (now called Paul) and people like him. 

  4. A heart of generosity. (Acts 11:27-30). … Generosity isn't all about money. Money is helpful for funding ministries, but without people to do the work, the ministry is mute. One of the greatest forms of generosity is to give ourselves. 

Of these four areas, where are you involved in the mission of God? 

Evangelism — Encouragement — Discipleship —Generosity.

Of those same four areas, where can you grow in faithfulness to the mission?

Legacy: Community: We are already and not yet

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

Ephesians 4:1-16

BIG IDEA: The church is an already and not yet community formed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. … We are already forgiven and made right with God, but we still are here on Earth being sanctified and not yet fully transformed and in Heaven. 

4 Commitments of the Already/Not Yet Community

  1. We will grow in gospel community through our actions and attitudes towards one another (vv. 1-3). … Our lives should be equal in measure to our calling. This process is ongoing. We have to practice being humble, gentle, and patient. 

  2. We will ground gospel community in our common confession (vv. 4-6). … We are all connected through our beliefs and salvation. We may have friend groups within the family of God, but it's important to remember that we are all united in Christ who died for our sins. 

  3. We will maximize gospel community as we receive and give God’s gifts (vv. 11-12). … We all have at least one spiritual gift and it is our responsibility to use our gifts in ministering to others. 

  4. We will realize gospel community as we pursue maturity together (vv. 13-16). … We need to work together as different parts of a body work together to achieve the best possible results.

Legacy: Gospel: We have a message

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

The overarching theme for this three week series comes from 1 Corinthians 15:3. In this series we will see that we have a legacy and that the Gospel is at the heart of it. 

Luke 19:1-10 - the story of Zacchaeus, yeah, the wee little man who climbed up a sycamore tree.  

BIG Idea: The Gospel is the good news that Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

The Gospel is good news for the worst and the difficult to reach (Luke 19:2). … Zacchaeus was a tax collector. And he was rich. Throughout the Gospel accounts we see that tax collectors are thieves and despised. And Jesus himself says that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. Zacchaeus represents the worst and most difficult to reach of us. 

The Gospel comes as an encounter with Jesus (Luke 19:3-5). … Zacchaeus was short and couldn't see over the crowd when Jesus came through town. He chose to revert to a child-like action and climbed a tree so he could see. Then Jesus came by and said He would stay at Zacchaeus' house.

  • Notice: Who is seeking whom. … Zacchaeus seeked Jesus and Jesus seeked Zacchaeus. God is sovereign and people are responsible. We must seek Jesus knowing He is always seeking us.

  • Notice: The ugliness of self-righteousness. … Even while Zacchaeus is still lost, Jesus extends an offer of friendship. It was grace in action. When we become self-righteous, we also become allergic to grace. That is the opposite of what Jesus does here.

The response to the Gospel is faith, obedience, and repentance (Luke 19:5-8). … Zacchaeus showed faith, immediate obedience, and radical repentance. 

The effect of the Gospel is joy (Luke 19:6). … Remember the parable about the man who found the treasure in the field and sold all his belongings to buy the field? That's what Zacchaeus did here. 

The Gospel is the power of God for us and the world (Luke 19:9-10). … Not only was Zacchaeus saved that day, but his family saw the change and was also saved. This is a great example of why it's important for the leader of a household to live out a faithful life. This is how the legacy is passed on. 

What kind of Gospel Legacy are you living into?

What kind of Gospel Legacy are you passing on?

Family and Church

Sunday Sermon

God has created two institutions, two communities, to provide fellowship and support for our lives:

God created the family (Mark 10:6-8). … Jesus quoted Genesis and said that God humans male and female. That is the first part of the blueprint of a family. The second part is that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Marriage is a joining of a man and woman for life. Together the man and woman have children and raise them. 

Proverbs to think about:

For husbands and wives: Proverbs 14:1 … Are you building up your family or tearing it down?

For parents and children: Proverbs 23:22 … Don't give up on each other. 

Jesus created the church (Matthew 16:15-19). … Jesus started the church with His disciples. The Greek word for "church" means a gathering of people. It's good to have access to church online, but the intent of church is for us to be together. And Jesus tells us the church will never die. Individual churches may go away if they turn from Biblical teachings but the global church will always exist. 

Ideally, the family and the church are to be in a mutual symbiotic relationship. They are to work together to benefit one another, like flowers and bees. … Without each other flowers and bees wouldn't thrive. They would struggle. The flower produces nectar for the bee and the bee pollinates flowers. Family and church have a similar relationship. The church provides spiritual food and guidance for families and families are what spread the Gospel and help keep the church active and growing. 

The family is to be like a little church (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). … The family is supposed to pray and discuss what God has done for them. Parents are supposed to pass on the knowledge of God to their children. 

The church is to be like a family (1 Timothy 5:1-3). … We are told to treat other members of the church like family members. That's why our church really emphasizes connection groups and Wednesday night classes. That is where you really create and develop relationships. 

Sometimes we let these two get out of balance in our lives. Sometimes we focus too much on one or the other and neglect the other. We might spend a lot of time at church but not encourage the teachings at home or don't spend time with each other at home. Or maybe we go to all the games and concerts and try to encourage godly living, but we're hardly ever at church. Both are important and should be treated as such.

The Christian Hope

Sunday Sermon

Our church has lost a number of members since the pandemic started (not necessarily from COVID). Today our pastor recognized these people at the start of the sermon. Some of them were never given a funeral or memorial service due to the pandemic, so it was good to be able to recognize them and celebrate their lives as well as that they are now in Heaven, fully realizing the hope we have as Christians. 

The Christian hope is a two-part hope:

  • When you die, your spirit departs your body and goes to be with Jesus. Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59-60; Philippians 1:22-23 … When God made mankind, there were two components: dust from the ground and breath from God. That breath is our spirit. When we die they separate and return from whence they came; the dust to the ground and the spirit to God to be judged. For christians saved by the blood of Christ, the spirit is allowed into Heaven with Jesus, which is better by far. 

  • When Jesus returns, he will raise your body. Your spirit will be reunited with your body. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 … Traditionally, this is why christians do burials. We believe the bodies will be raised again. But let's not forget that our God is all powerful. He could just easily gather the ashes from cremation and put them back together. When Jesus returns, those who are dead in Christ will be rejoined with its spirit in a glorified body and carried up to Christ. Then those who are still alive will also join Christ. 

This hope does not apply to everyone. It applies to anyone who believes in Jesus (John 11:25). … Jesus is life. The only way to eternal life is through Him. We will all exist somewhere in eternity, but only through Jesus will we have eternal life in Heaven.