As Paul continues to write according to his theme of ministry integrity, he turns to the quality of Christian relationships. This is one way people can suffer in a local church. When they are persuaded that Jesus is not enough, their relationships inside the church struggle, and they don't know how to develop redemptive relationships in the community. When unsure of the permanence of their relationship with God, then people have no foundation from which to build other relationships and no message of how the Gospel changed them.
Among a remnant in Corinth, a disrespect for Paul was growing because of religious people who taught that one needed to do religious works to be saved. As a result, the Corinthians distrusted Paul and his behavior and plans for ministry.
There have always been religious intruders in the church who seek to dethrone the sufficiency of Jesus. Beware of anyone who undermines the sufficiency of Christ in salvation and spiritual growth or who undermines a messenger of Christ’s sufficiency.
We are expected to pursue human wisdom and enjoy that pursuit while understanding that only God's wisdom will satisfy us in Jesus Christ.
Romans 12-16 practically applies the doctrine of chapters 1-11. How do we practically apply doctrine in our culture, in our personal lives, home, vocation, and communities? There is a divine progression from Romans 12:1 through the end of the book. We obey because we love (2 John 6). He saves us by His grace and gives us the ability to live by His grace to influence others by His grace.
Christ is coming back, and as the Head of the Church, He will be looking to see His people bringing the Gospel to others (Romans 1:16). Jesus is building His church in Mentor as He has been since the beginning of the church. He was building His church through the local body of believers in Rome. This was a healthy church made up of all different kinds of people, which we will see in Romans 16. That diversity of people being saved and united in Christ is the result of living out the commission of love that Paul wrote about in Romans 12:17-21.
Love that has its foundation in divine transformation shows compassion within the body of Christ and has great influence in the surrounding community.
Grasping the meaning and context of Romans 10:14-17 will ensure a church's existence for years to come and a spiritual progeny until Jesus returns. The incorrect preaching of this passage will bring decline and demise to a church.
We began our study of Romans last year using an outline from Alva J. McClain. We studied Condemnation and Salvation in chapters 1-8. Now we begin the section on Vindication in chapters 9-11. The key question for this section is "Why was Israel set aside?" The answer we will find in Romans 11:30-32 is that God might show mercy to all.
Knowing our history and considering the future both bring us closer to each other and the Lord.
The theme of the book of Romans is the righteousness of God as revealed in the Gospel. We should never cease to wonder that God's mercy and power were enough to save sinners like us!
We will take our church theme for 2017 from Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’”
Virtually every Christian faces fear and hesitance in sharing the Gospel. What is the pathway to personal confidence in sharing Christ? The Bible teaches that an ingathering of souls is always predicated by prayer. The book of Acts is replete with instances of the miraculous salvation of souls on the heels of intercession by God’s people.
The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, is God's assignment for the church. The task of reaching the world with the name of Christ is bigger than any individual. It is even bigger than the collective group of believers. This task requires the power of God. Thankfully, that which God calls us to, He also empowers us to do. As we continue to grow spiritually, God does the work to accomplish His eternal mission.
Our church mission statement states that "Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness." Our theme for the year of 2017 will be "I Am Not Ashamed." We will learn The Power of God in the Gospel as we study through the book of Romans.
What is the true center of global outreach? Are Christian training institutions central to Gospel work? Is the height of global influence found in evangelistic parachurch organizations? God intended individual believers in the local church to be the true center of global outreach. The front line of Gospel advancement is you!
Anyone familiar with organizing groups of children knows that success depends on keeping them on schedule. Whether the setting is school or summer camp, the bell is the key to keeping everyone on track. Paul continues to call Timothy and the believers under his care back to one clear message: We don't live for the temporal world but eternal purposes.
In 1 Timothy 6, Pastor Timothy is called to take action. As he lives out godliness, the churches will follow and mimic his example. Timothy is to separate from worldly influences and pursue biblical virtue (verse 11). In verse 12, he is told to contend for the truth of God's Word.
1 Timothy 6 directly addresses four different groups in the church: those in the work force, teachers of unhealthy doctrine, Timothy and future pastors, and those who are wealthy. The way Christians behave in the workplace has a direct impact on their Gospel influence.
The second chapter of John's Gospel shows the beginning of Jesus' public ministry – His first miracle, His first appearance at the Temple, His first Passover and His first cleansing of the Temple. The central verse of this section is John 2:17. All these events were the Messianic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We can study this passage to ask, "What is the activity and fruit of a life consumed with properly worshiping the Lord?"
The book of Matthew was written to a Jewish audience to convince readers that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Our passage immediately follows Jesus' coronation (His baptism by John) and His testing by God. Unlike any other king, Jesus performed perfectly under the test. He resisted the tempter, commanded his worship, and finally banished him.
What will the reign of this King be like? Matthew 4:12-25 shows the first three acts of King Jesus which set the tone for His rule.
As we study the final three qualifications for pastor-teachers, remember that all of the qualities in this list (except skill in teaching) are ones that all believers are told to emulate elsewhere in Scripture. Pastors are to set the example for everyone in the church.
The best way to develop a burden for the lost is to pray for them. Christ himself gave us an example of this in John 17:20-26. Evangelism is a key part of disciple-making living, which governs every part of our lives as Christians. Without this eternal purpose, life would be pretty mundane!
Sometimes, Bible verses like Proverbs 1:14-19, James 4:4, and 1 Peter 3:15 are mistakenly used to deter Christians from forming friendships with unsaved people. But we must have friendships of integrity in order to be a testimony in a dark world. A burden for the lost helps keep the church pure.
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