February 10, 2013 Ephesians 1:3-4  Listen
Our gospel disposition remains humbly and kindly purposeful.
Pastor's Notes:
As we continue to review our responsibility to evangelize the lost, we must remember that the Gospel is not just any good news, but the Good News of the Lord Jesus – eternally the son of God, who was born of a virgin and came for a purpose, who died for our sin, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and is coming again.
We now look at our Personal Humility that should accompany our Proclamation of the Gospel.

Main Points:

The Heart of the Godhead for the Gospel.
God’s heart behind the Gospel is revealed in many passages to be full of tender love and kindness (see our main passage above).  Anything that lets us understand who Christ is and enables us to accept Him comes from the kind intention of God’s will. Philippians 2:1-8 show Christ’s humility and the necessary action that resulted from God’s compassion.

The Holy Spirit’s continual ministry in the world involves conviction of human sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the judgment that results from rejection of Him.  Our gospel is incomplete if it is preached without including judgment.  We need to let people know so they can be prepared for eternity.
Our Humble Responsibility.
The Godhead went to extreme lengths to make us part of their family, and this is our example as we promote the same Gospel.  Even though our tendency is to relax after being saved awhile, our striving is to be intense.  Paul described it in terms used for athletic strain.  We do not work just to stay busy; we struggle and contend for the purpose of the Gospel.

In the New Testament, this striving is always done together, locking arms with others to pursue the same goal.  This is the design of the local church.  God is a genius strategist for the Gospel that is so close to His heart: He places churches to spread the Gospel, and He places individuals in specific churches for Gospel purposes.  That includes you!
Application Points
  • Love always seeks to give people in trouble a simple and thorough way out.  This is what the Gospel is: God loved sinners enough to present them with one way of complete salvation through Jesus Christ.  Have you accepted this simple truth and surrendered your heart in obedience to the Gospel?
  • If you have accepted the salvation found in Christ, you will be compelled to take action.  God’s love for humanity caused Him to make the journey from Heaven to Earth to the cross.  If you have God’s love within you, what action will you take to humbly share that love?
  • Are you striving for the sake of the Gospel?  Who have you locked arms with?  Do you need to tighten those bonds in order to have more Gospel influence through a local church?  This is the reason we are here!
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
  • 1 Peter 1 – a choir-piece of salvation.
  • Mark 1:14-15 – We must believe and place ourselves under the Gospel.
  • John 16:8 – the Holy Spirit’s ministry of conviction.
  • Philippians 4:2-3 and Phil. 1:27-30 – our struggle for the Gospel.
  • 2 Timothy 1:8 – We suffer hardships and endure adversity for the Gospel.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 – consequences of not obeying the Gospel.
A Hymn to Encourage:  “Jesus Saves!”
We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Waft it on the rolling tide: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Tell to sinners far and wide: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing, you islands of the sea; echo back, you ocean caves;
Earth shall keep her jubilee: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing above the battle strife: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout it brightly through the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Give the winds a mighty voice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free; highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Recommended Resources:
God-Centered Evangelism by R.B. Kuiper
February 3, 2013 Romans 15:16  Listen
The primary way to demonstrate the glory of God to our culture is by living and sharing the Gospel.
Pastor's Notes:
Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness.
The Good News of the Gospel is simply the story of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth.  It cannot remain simply intellectual data.  We must believe it in our hearts and live it for everyone around us to see.
Last week, we saw that the verb forms of the word “Gospel” are used in the context of three various categories:
  • Proclamation
  • Personal Humility
  • Prioritized Activity

Here are three more uses that fit in the Proclamation category:
  • Preach – to give publicly for the purpose of demonstrating its uniqueness.
    Used in Galatians 1:11-17 and 1 Corinthians 15.
Everyone has a gospel that they believe will make them right with God.  But any gospel that doesn’t hold Jesus’ work as sufficient to save, even one that offers “Jesus plus” anything, is a false gospel.  Jesus is enough, or His life was all in vain.  Rejection of the true Gospel will incur eternal wrath.
  • Proclaim – nonverbal, to put on display through a lifestyle.
    Used in 1 Corinthians 9:14, 11:26.
The two ordinances of the church, the Lord’s Supper and baptism, are two ways that we publicly proclaim the Gospel.  Another is by your work ethic at your job.  Live the Gospel through your hard work, and you will earn the right to speak the Gospel.  You may need to live it for some time, but God will give you the opportunity to speak.
  • Saturate – literally translated “to fully proclaim.”
    Used in Romans 15:17-19.
Even if you are not an evangelist, the Gospel so saturates our person that it influences those immediately around us.  All who are closely related to you will know the Gospel.  This saturation extends throughout the globe as the worldwide church lives out its mission.  It starts with you!
Application Points
  • You must own Jesus Christ to be able to share the Gospel.  Until you do, you have no gospel to give.  Have you made the message of the Gospel your personal belief and not just intellectual knowledge?
  • How does your testimony show at your job?  Are you a hard worker?  Pray for God to give you opportunities to speak the Gospel as you live it through your conduct, even without words.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            Galatians 2:2 – Jesus is enough.
            1 Peter 2, Ephesians 5, Titus 3 – a Christian work ethic.
A Hymn to Encourage:  “I Will Sing of My Redeemer”
I will sing of my Redeemer
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.
I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.
I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant power I'll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin and death and hell.
I will sing of my Redeemer
And His heav'nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer,
With His blood He purchased me;
On the cross He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt and made me free.
January 27, 2013 2 Corinthians 4:1-4  Listen
The primary way to demonstrate the glory of God is by giving the Gospel.
Pastor's Notes:
“Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness.”
The church’s commission to go into all the world and make disciples is not just a corporate responsibility – it is an individual one, and the primary responsibility of all Christians.  If we focus on corporate programs and events rather than on personal evangelism we have a backwards approach to the Gospel.  Making disciples is really a simple process: praying for the lost; meeting them; telling them they need Jesus; winning souls by a miracle of God; then training and equipping them to be more like their Savior.

The Gospel we give is also very simple: it is the good news of Jesus Christ – who He is and why He came, died, rose, ascended, and is coming again!  The Greek word for “gospel” is euangelion.  According to Vine’s Greek Dictionary, “In the New Testament, the Gospel denotes the good tidings of the kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ, to be received by faith on the basis of Jesus’ substitutionary death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.” 
The Gospel, in itself and when received by a soul, is a clear demonstration of the glory of God.  The glory we receive in Christ is personally transformational and counter-cultural.  The pain, fear, and lostness of life without Christ is turned to joy, peace, and purpose of a soul reconciled to God.  Once this miracle occurs in a life, the most unique and specific way we can carry the glory of God into our culture is by telling others the Good News.  It should be something we are eager to do!
The use of the word “gospel” in the New Testament falls into 3 different categories.  It is used in the context of our Proclamation of the Gospel, our Personal Humility while sharing the Gospel, and our Prioritized Activity regarding the Gospel.  Today we will look at the first category.
There are 6 different Greek words that describe how we proclaim the Gospel.  Just as Paul used different approaches for different audiences, we should pray for discernment to share the Gospel with the appropriate level of intensity for each situation.  Here are the first three ways:
  •  Herald – the public presentation of the Gospel, primarily done by pastor-teachers.  Used in Galatians 2:2.
  • Speaking – a conversational tone, just talking about Jesus.  Used in 1 Thessalonians 2:2.
  • Testify – a solemn warning.  Used in Acts 20:21-24.
Notice that only one of these methods is reserved for those with a pastor-teacher gifting.  Giving the Gospel is not only the pastor’s job or the church leaders’ job – every Christian is responsible to share the Gospel prayerfully, purposely, and personally.
Application Points
This aspect of our mission statement has a very simple and specific application: Are you carrying the Gospel into our culture?
  • If you are saved, you have a responsibility carry the Gospel.  Are there specific unsaved people who you are praying for?  Who in your immediate sphere of influence can you be a witness to, share the Gospel with, and invite to church to be discipled?
  • God’s loving heart is completely impartial; He longs to see all people receive the Gospel.  Does your concern for the lost mirror His?  Do you have any enemy who you wouldn’t tell about the Good News of Jesus?
  • Take some time to think about the content of the Gospel and its work in your own life.  Each Christian must guard against those who would seek to distort the Gospel, for the sake of your own growth and that of the church.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
  • Matthew 28:19-20 – Jesus’ Great Commission to the church.
  • Luke 19:10, Mark 10:45, 1 John 2:1-3, John 1:29 – Why did Jesus come to earth?
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 – Satan always seeks to subvert Jesus’ Gospel intentions.
  • 1 Timothy 1:8-11 – the transformation worked by the Gospel.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:20-23, Daniel 12:3 – the priority of winning souls.
A Hymn to Encourage:  “O Zion, Haste”
O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,
To tell to all the world that God is light,
That He who made all nations is not willing
One soul should perish, lost in shades of night.
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace;
Tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.
Behold how many thousands still are lying
Bound in the darksome prison-house of sin,
With none to tell them of the Savior's dying,
Or of the life He died for them to win.

Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation
That God, in Whom they live and move, is love;
Tell how He stooped to save His lost creation,
And died on earth that we might live above.

Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious;
Give of thy wealth to speed them on their way;
Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious;
O Zion, haste to bring the brighter day. 
January 20, 2013 1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Listen
If you know Christ, you are called and enabled to joyfully carry the weight of God’s glory in everyday life.
Pastor's Notes:
As Christians, our ultimate wish is to know that we please God, isn’t it?  The good news today is that we can know exactly how to do that.  If you own Christ, God is already completely happy with you because He sees Jesus’ righteousness in you.  The Christian life is about living that out every day.

Building on last week’s sermon, we now seek to make our knowledge of God practical.  How can we give glory to God?  No human glory is adequate to give to God; we must reflect divine glory.  But we learned that God’s glory is beyond human description, wholly other than anything we could understand or attain.  As with the shepherds who heard the angels’ announcement in Luke 2:9-14, our first response at God’s presence will be fear because we know we are apart from Him.  But God promises “peace to all who would believe” in His Son.  It is through Jesus that we can bring glory to God, the glory that He gives us by dwelling inside us.
The immanence of God’s glory means that it is near or looming.  Evidence of His glory is all around us because of His omnipresence.  God’s awe-inspiring creation is intended to let us know that we too are created.  But we suppress God’s glory and make idols from His creation instead (Romans 1:18-32).  It takes a miracle to bring sinful humans and divine glory together.  God graciously gives us the faith and repentance to respond to His offer of salvation through His Son.  Only when we have His glory and holiness imparted to us can we truly reflect glory back to Him.
The Bible is filled with ways to bring glory to God.  It simply means doing His will, which is revealed in the Bible, our manual for Christian living.  Our passage today gives one example of living in the will of God: by governing our natural desires.  The desire for food and drink and intimacy were given to us by God and are good and natural, but they have been perverted by the Fall.  We are to govern these desires and not be governed by them in order to glorify God with our bodies.  Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit have a divine occupant, and when we carry God’s glory, we have to live like Christ did.  God now owns us by right of redemption.
Application Points
  • In order to glorify God, you must have God’s glory.  Have you accepted Christ’s invitation?
  • To glorify Him, we must live God’s character publically.  This involves all aspects of life.  How do you spend your discretionary time?  Do you demonstrate Christ-likeness to your family?  Do you engage in all aspects of worship?  A life like Jesus’ will be counter-cultural.
  • Is there an aspect of your life where you have slipped back into unsaved habits?  Do you have an idol that consumes your time and distracts you from the Lord?  Don’t delay in making the needed adjustments – it is never too late to do right.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
  • Revelation 4:11, Romans 1:18-23 – Creation reveals God’s glory, and man’s sinful response.
  • Exodus 15:11 – God’s glory is closely linked with His holiness.
  • Revelation 3:20-21 – Jesus’ invitation.
  • Galatians 2:20 – Christ lives in us and is our new lifestyle.
  • John 17:1-4 – glorifying God is doing His will.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:11-20 – glorifying God with our natural desires.
  • Romans 6:1-18 – forgiveness does not give us license to sin.
  • 1 Peter 4:1-6, Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 4:23-25, Galatians 5:16-25 – more examples of how to live to bring glory to God.

A Hymn to Encourage: “O God, My Joy” by Paul Keew and Brian Pinner
O God, my joy, You reign above in radiant splendor and beauty.
Your Word has drawn my heart to love the awesome sight of Your glory. 
Your blazing Light and gospel grace shine brightly from my Savior’s face.
No other wonder would I see than Christ enthroned in His glory!

Sustained by joy in trial and pain, I trust Your wisdom and mercy.
Through suffering that Your love ordains, more like Your Son You will make me.
For Christ embraced the cross of shame, beholding glorious joys to come.
O give me faith like His to see that suffering lifts me to glory!

Compelled by joy, I fight the sin that turns my gaze from Your glory.
Your Holy Spirit dwells within; His presence arms me for victory.
Let death and hell against me rise; through death I’ll gain eternal joys.
All powers of hell will bend the knee before my great King of Glory!
January 13, 2013 Colossians 1:24-29  Listen
Understanding and living the glory of God is the ultimate goal of a healthy local church.
Pastor's Notes:
The next part of Grace Church’s mission statement is “to glorify God.”  Though we hear this phrase often, it is very daunting to define what that means.  What is glory? And how does it help us understand God and how we relate to Him?
God’s glory is infinitely mysterious at one level; many theologians find it impossible to define.  It is too active to be compartmentalized by human terms.  One author described glory as “the created brightness that surrounds God’s revelation of Himself.”  Jonathan Edwards found himself at a loss to put God’s glory in commonly understood terms and took volumes probing out its aspects.

God’s glory is primarily understood in Jesus Christ.  God has revealed Himself to us through Christ, the express image of the glory of God.  When we are right with Him, we are able to glorify God through the way we live by His word, being matured to know our responsibilities and what it means to please Him as His redeemed people.  This is doable, and it is a lifelong process to know and live the different aspects of bringing God glory.
The Old Testament word for “glory” is kabod.  We also find 7 synonyms for kabod and 18 more related words used throughout the Old Testament.  Those 7 close words boil down to 5 different definitions or aspects of God’s glory.
  1. Majestic – set apart, high and wholly other; full of perfection, superior; unequalled works accomplished by a universal king who does exactly as He desires.
  2. Kingly – aesthetic beauty; authority of His universal reign
  3. Throne – illustrious exaltation; there are no worthy contenders; He is the only true Ruler.  His glory is a fearsome sight to the wicked and inspires praise from the righteous.  No man can claim to share this glory.
  4. Splendor – perfect kingship, honor, universal and powerful reign; specifically refers to God’s creation reflecting His glory.  God is arrayed in splendor and the source of it. 
  5. Outstretched Arm – God’s strength used to help the needy, given to the humble to experience on a personal level.
The Hebrew word kabod is the most important term used for glory in the Old Testament.  Its literal meaning is “weight.”  This word can connote not only physical weight but metaphorical weights of difficulty, importance, wealth, or reputation.  It is also used to refer to the soul, the essence and whole being of a person.  In relation to God, this word shows that there is a depth to Him.  He has a weighty reputation and is “a great God deserving of honor and respect.”  His uniqueness will not be shared with any creature because it is “a necessary aspect of His existence and cannot be taken away.”  And yet God’s glory is much more imminent (among us) than transcendent (above and unreachable).
The most amazing aspect of God’s glory, repeated throughout the Bible, is His desire to share this unique glory with His own people.  He progressively reveals Himself through His presence, miracles, and promises of future deliverance.  His heart is one to give generously.  He has the Throne and the Crown, but gives thrones and crowns to His humble, chosen servants.  All the self-revelation of God is for the purpose of dwelling with humans and entering into a covenant fellowship with His creation.  How incomprehensible!

*Much of the above section was used from "A Biblical Theology of the Glory of God" by Philippe Paul-Luc Viguier 
Application Points
Today’s sermon consisted mostly of teaching, so take some time to soak in what we learned of God’s glory.  Dig deeper into the Scripture’s descriptions of God’s glory, and respond to Him in worship.  Recognition of God’s Lordship should lead us to praise Him and show our respect through right behavior prompted by right faith. 
Just like children are born with a desire to please their parents, every human has an innate question: How do we glorify and please God as our ultimate authority?  We can only relate to this pure and majestic God through His holy and majestic Son.  Have you come to the Lord Jesus on His terms?  Once you know Jesus Christ, He shares His glory with you positionally, and you are forever approved by God.  As you grow, you will progressively glorify God in whatever you do (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Tools for Further Study
Key Cross References: 
            Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15 – Christ is the exact image of God.
            Psalm 149:4; Psalm 59:9-10, 18; Psalm 29:11, 1 Samuel 2:10 – God’s desire to impart His glory to His people.
            For complete cross references, refer to the sermon audio recording on the website.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Holy, Mighty, Worthy”

“Holy, holy, holy!”  Seraph choirs extol Thee.
Bending wings, they humbly sing of Thy lofty majesty!
Thou alone art holy!  Who on earth is like Thee?
Grant that we, like Thee, may be holy, holy, holy.

“Mighty, mighty, mighty!”  Sun and stars declare Thee.
All creation joins to sing of Thy pow’r and deity!
Thou alone art mighty!  Naught was made without Thee!
Grant that we Thy pow’r may see – Mighty, mighty, mighty.

“Worthy, worthy, worthy!”  Saints in heav’n exalt Thee.
Lamb, once slain, now raised to reign: Savior, Judge and conquering King!
Thou alone art worthy!  All was made to please Thee.
Grant that we in heav’n may sing, “Worthy, worthy, worthy!”

“Glory, glory, glory!”  We, Thy church, adore Thee.
Called by grace to bring Thee praise; trophies of Thy pow’r to save!
None shall share Thy glory!  All shall bow before Thee.
Father, Son and Spirit: One!  “Glory, glory, glory!”
January 6, 2013 1 Corinthians 12:12-14  Listen
You, as the church, are part of a dynamic family that exists for divine purposes.
Pastor's Notes:
Over the past few years, Grace Church of Mentor has had a theme to focus on each year.  Here’s a review of past yearly themes:
2006 – Every Member Motivated
2007 – Pleasing God, Not Man
2008 – Because God is Faithful
2009 – Our Certain Truth in Uncertain Times
2010 – Our Blessed Hope while We Live by the Word
2011 – Servants of the Gospel
2012 – Living Made Simple by the Gospel
This year’s theme will be “Standing, but Not Standing Still.”

Many Christians take right stands, but then become rigid.  You cannot obey the Scriptures and be idle.  As the first part of exploring this theme, we will be unpacking what Scripture says about the purpose of the church over the next few weeks.
Much thought, prayer, and study went into formulating our church’s mission statement to be in tune with God’s purposes for the church.  It reads: “Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness.”
Many churches in today’s American culture have purposes other than what the Bible sets forth.  The primary mission of God’s church is not social, political, or corporate.  Our message is not “positive thinking,” “feel-good,” or one that can be coupled with worldly living.  The Bible says nothing of these approaches to church.  The church loses its purpose and its message, the Gospel, if it defines itself.  It must be defined by the God who instituted it.  When the Bible defines the church, it retains its balanced and vibrant approach to her Scriptural calling and duty.
Here is a brief overview of the origin, nature, organization, and purposes that God has set out for the church.
Origin: The Greek word for “church,” ecclesia, refers to those called out for a specific purpose. 
The New Testament uses several metaphors for the church:
The Body of Christ – see 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 1:22-23
A Family – see 2 Corinthians 6:18
Vine and Branches – see John 15:1-11
The Pillar and Support of Truth – see 1 Timothy 3:15
God’s Building – see 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16, and Ephesians 2:20-21
A Holy Nation and Royal Priesthood – see 1 Peter 2:9
Salt and Light of the World – see Matthew 5:13-15, Colossians 4:5-6, and Acts 13:47
Nature: The church is divine in nature because God has established it.  Jesus prophesied its coming in Matthew 16, and Acts 2 records its birth. 

The church is identified as a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ made up of all born-again believers in this present age.  See Ephesians 2:11-3:6.
The head of the church is Christ.  See Colossians 1:18.
The church’s helper is the Holy Spirit.  See John 16-18.
The church is located in specific geographic locations in order to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  See Acts 14:23 and the openings of most epistles.
The church is both autonomous and interdependent.  Each local church is designed to be free from any external control or authority, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations.  Yet local churches with like faith and practice work together for the sake of spreading the Gospel.  See Titus 1:5, Acts 15:19-31, and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Organization: The church’s offices and qualifications are set out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.  They are to be servant-leaders who win respect by their genuine character so the people are willing to follow.
The church’s primary function is to glorify God by worship.  The central focus is to be the preaching of God’s Word.  See 2 Timothy 4.
God has established ordinances for the church to observe, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  See Acts 8 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.
Christ gave His church gifts to be practiced corporately.  See 1 Peter 4:7-11.

Worship in song is to be reverent and holy, mirroring the character of God.  See Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5.
The church gathers for fellowship and prayer.  See Acts 2:41-44.
Each member is called to service and shares the responsibility to spread the Gospel to the world.  See Acts 20.
Purposes: The church’s purpose is simply to win souls and make disciples.

Every person who knows Christ is to be equipped as a disciple, to help others mature, and to evangelize. See Ephesians 4, Colossians 1:27-28, Acts 20, and 1 John 2.

The scope of the church’s purpose is to the local area first, spreading to the uttermost parts of the earth through planting churches and networking with others who can reach different areas.  See Acts 1:8.
It is human thinking that makes the church most complex.  Confine your thinking of the church to the simple outline in the Bible.  Mere success does not indicate God’s blessing; if we obey the Bible and success comes, then we know that Jesus is building His church here.
*Much of the above content was used from DBTS Syllabus notes on Ecclesiology and from bible.org/seriespage/ecclesiology-church, by Greg Herrick
Application Points
This may be a lot to absorb if you are new to church or have not been taught a proper understanding of its nature and function; but it is crucial information to know and live by as a Christian.  Prayerfully consider the following:
  • What is your understanding of the church’s purpose?  Where does this deviate from or agree with what the Bible says?  How can you correct your understanding?
  • Study through the passages listed above that define the church according to God’s standards.  Refer to chapter 7 of the Foundations discipleship book for more details on the origin, nature, and purpose of the church.
  • Pray that Grace Church of Mentor will hold fast to God’s divine purpose for the church.  Pray for the leadership to have clear vision and for the whole church to live out our purpose.  How can you be a part of this in the coming year?
  • Set aside 2 hours to read through the whole book of Acts in one sitting.  It contains the history of the early church, and you will learn much about its origin and purposes as well as be encouraged by how God works through His church.
 Tools for Further Study  Cross References are listed above.
A Hymn to Encourage: “The Church’s One Foundation”
The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.
Elect from ev'ry nation, yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation – one Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, with ev'ry grace endued.
'Mid toil and tribulation and tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with the God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.
Quotes to Ponder:
“There is a great need today to understand the essential nature of the church from what Scripture teaches and not firstly from the role some claim she ought to play in society.  We cannot continue to define the church existentially – that is, by the way she interacts with the world and the resultant changes she undergoes.  We must begin with the Word of God in order to get a sense of the kind of entity that she is, and from there we can decide on the kind of tasks she ought to be engaged in.”
Charles Spurgeon:  “I do not come to this pulpit hoping that perhaps someone will of his own free will have turned to Christ.  My hope lies in another corner.  I hope that my Master will lay hold of some, and of them say, ‘You are mine, and you shall be mine.  I claim you for myself.’  My hope arises from the freeness of His grace, and not from the freedom of mere human will.”

2013 Sermon Archives