If anyone owns the word "new," the church does. Those who have been transformed by the Gospel and have been given a new nature know the true meaning of the word. In a new year when much is uncertain, we know the Lord is still on the throne, and we are qualified and equipped for whatever may come our way.
Growing deeper in understanding our faith naturally leads to living it out in a meaningful way.
2 Corinthians finds its author, Paul, defending his mission against threats to Gospel progress. His goal with the Corinthian believers to whom he was writing was to remain ministry partners even through relational difficulty while enjoying mutual comfort from God. Their unity in Christ was greater than anything that would divide them.
As we prepare to "re-enter" society following shutdowns on a national and international level, we are preparing ourselves for more change. Though the natural rhythms of life remain the same, they may look different from what we were used to before the pandemic. But we will be okay by God's grace. Our circumstances and cultures may change, but God's beauty and order do not. Some of our spiritual habits should never change either.
Psalm 6 meditates on a difficult Christian endeavor: responding while under the disciplinary hand of the Lord. This endeavor is the sole property of people who have been transformed by Jesus into the often-uncomfortable condition of being lifelong learners, lovers, and worshipers. The joy of learning often includes the negative experience of shame, stifling our own pride, and enduring the consequences of our sin.
Transparent spiritual relationships in the local church take hard work, but they are worth it. These relationships are more meaningful than checking off the number of times you attend church services. Christians cannot live the Christian life without each other.
We are studying the third section of Romans 12. When people are transformed by grace (Romans 12:1-2) and functioning well in the body of Christ (Romans 12:3-8), we are able to love each other as God intends.
Romans 12:9-16’s list of responsibilities may seem to have no rhyme or reason to their order, but they fit into the chapter context perfectly. Romans 12 begins the practical portion of the book as we seek to live God’s glorious gospel outlined in Romans 1-11. If the chapter is a 3-story house, verses 1-2 are the foundation. Verses 3-8 are the first floor named Community. The second floor, verses 9-16, is about Compassion. Verses 17-21 address our Commission.
Americans spend an astounding amount of money every year to take care of our bodies, whether that involves medical costs, fitness, or weight loss. God cares about the body as well. He determined to redeem and resurrect our human bodies before Creation. The Mosaic law shows great care for the physical body. The Israelites took Joseph's body with them when they left Egypt, and God Himself buried Moses' body when he died. Jesus healed the human body multiple times in His earthly ministry. Jesus was resurrected bodily, and so will we be.
Our theme this year is "A Zeal for the Church." We at Grace Church want to have an all-consuming desire for this local body to succeed spiritually. Anyone God has saved, He has a plan to use in the church. Our heart, soul, mind, and strength are to be utilized in living for His purposes. Paul calls this being sanctified "entirely" or completely.
Believers will have one of two reactions when Christ returns: we will either be confident or ashamed. Paul gives directives to Timothy so that he will be found faithful at Christ's second coming. In 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Paul rehearses several character traits of God which will motivate Timothy's obedience.
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