Do you know why the church exists?
Do you know who formed the church, and how it was formed?
Do you know who is supposed to lead the church, and the list of their required qualifications?
Do you know who makes up the church, and how they are supposed to live?
I’d like you to imagine a young man, who has parachuted into a city that he is unfamiliar with, which is bringing incredible cultural and societal pressures on those who are trying to follow Jesus. And he is on his own. And his spiritual father is not able to be with him. And he needs answers to questions like those I have asked you above.
You see, the questions haven’t changed. And we still need those answers, in order to be what our city needs us to be. And so, for his spiritual son, and for us, the Apostle Paul sits down and addresses them—
I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and buttress of the truth.
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory.
(found in 1 Timothy 3:14-16, New Living Translation)
I encourage you to spend some time reading 1 Timothy before you come to our service this Sunday, with the questions I’ve posed above in mind. Prayerfully prepare, and come ready to hear from God about the joy and power of the church to change the world.
May he use our time together to equip us, so that we can help at least one other person move one step closer to Jesus.
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Preparing For Sunday 19 May 2019
What do you think of when you see these two words together?...