Sermons on The Church
The Cost of Community Jesus promises that his community of believers will be a blessing and a support. How close are we supposed to be in this community? And why will there be challenges? Though Christian community comes at a cost, Christ tells us it is worth pursuing.
Forbes Magazine reported that in 2019 businesses and individuals spent an estimated $166 Billion on leadership training in the United States. The amount of money spent on leadership reminds us of an obvious truth – leaders matter. While Jesus agrees with the importance given to leaders, his understanding of leadership fundamentally differs from our world’s common understandings. Today we begin a process to select and appoint additional deacons, men who will join our church family’s leadership. Therefore, we will consider…
Near the end of his first letter, Peter encouraged the elders in his audience to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:1-3). He followed his encouragement with a promise – if the elders faithfully fulfilled their duty, Jesus, “the chief Shepherd”, would give them an “unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4; cf. Hebrews 13:20; John 10:7-18). The connection Peter makes between elders who “shepherd the flock of God” and Jesus “the chief Shepherd” offers an insight into being an elder – elders follow the example of Jesus. Our elders have announced the beginning of a process to appoint additional elders for our church family. This lesson, which concludes a series about elders, reminds us of elders’ responsibility to follow the example of Jesus, “the good shepherd” (John 10:7-18), whose teachings and behavior outline the expectations God has for those to whom He entrusts the care of His church.
Luke, in Acts 20, narrates Paul’s journey to Jerusalem. Despite “hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16), Paul took time to stop in Miletus and meet with the elders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:17). Luke uses three different terms to refer to those elders in his record of Paul’s conversation – “elders” (Acts 20:17), “overseers” (Acts 20:28), and shepherds (Acts 20:28). Luke’s descriptions of elders map the role of the leaders to whom God entrusts the care of local congregations (cf. Acts 20:28) and offers insights into their place within our church family. We will therefore consider the terms “elders”, “overseers”, and “shepherds” in this lesson as we prepare to begin the process to appoint additional elders for our church family.
Our government’s response to events over the past few months has raised fears in many people that it is taking away their rights. While they do not usually characterize it as ‘oppression’, we generally understand that claims about have one’s rights revoked or repressed belong in the category of oppression. The growing debate in our nation about these concerns raises the question about the relationship we, as Christians, ought to have with our government. We will therefore consider Peter’s message in 1 Peter to see what wisdom the early church can offer us that will help us better understand our relationship to our government.
1 Corinthians 1:10 The desire for unity has pervaded human consciousness from the beginning of its history; God created us to be united. Our sins, however, keep us divided. That dilemma provided the backdrop for Paul’s message for the Corinthians in which he called for them to be united. Paul’s call for unity goes far beyond merely a call to “get along”; he told the Corinthians that God expected them to “united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). This lesson will outline some of the non-negotiable truths that play a role in the unity that ought to define us.
Revelation 2:8-11 Many people who read the Bible tend to avoid Revelation. Even though the book’s confusing imagery alienates some readers, God intended its strange contents to serve as a triumphant conclusion to the Bible’s message rather than some opaque reading test of one’s faith. That triumphal message begins with Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 in which Jesus describes the challenges confronting the churches and offers blessings to those who overcome them. Our consideration of those letters will seek to identify how they speak to Jesus’ church throughout time and geography and what lessons they therefore hold for us.
Acts 1:1-11–Bibles label the book of Acts as “the Acts of the Apostles”, giving readers the impression that it offers a historical record of the apostles’ activities in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. While true, that impression fails to grasp the fuller picture Luke carefully composed in his book. Acts gives to its readers far more than merely a historical account of the early church’s activities; it uses that historical account to narrate the reality of Jesus’ kingdom…
PM Sermon: Thanks to All Scripture Romans 12:3-8 In 1624, John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, Entire of itself.” He was merely echoing what Paul had written centuries earlier about Christians, “We, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” As we go through life, we are taught, helped, encouraged and nurtured in manifold ways by uncountable numbers of people. Some make a great impact and others only a small one, but they all contribute to who we are and what we can do in the kingdom. It pays to pause and be thankful for each one of them.
The Church & the Plan Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14 The church will usually be a marginalized minority in the eyes of the world, but she is the precious and planned gathering together of God’s people. As God works his plan, some, such as Old Testament Israel, will be chosen to fill special and exclusive roles. That is the case of today’s church. No other group can fill the role that God has planned for and given to the church. To claim Christ, but opt out of the church, is to disregard God’s plan.