Neither popularity nor position are permanent. Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 teaches us to avoid unrealistic expectations regarding both.
Love is talked about often during the Christmas season. The love of God in our hearts produces hope (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit instructs us about God's love. The gifts given by the Holy Spirit are to be lived out in love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Peter 4:9-11). It is God Himself who teaches us to love (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
Romans 16:25-27 may not be a song, but these are glorious words spoken about God. They encapsulate our focus as we end our study of this book. While we live out the Gospel, our singular goal is to bring glory to God.
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.
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.
The church doesn't function well unless the whole of ourselves is gathered with the whole of God's family and devoted to the whole of God's purposes. God's commission for His church is bigger than any one of us. He desires to govern all of us by His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
Pastors can be hesitant to talk about the proper use of possessions. But if all of us belongs to God, then everything we are and have should be used to glorify Him. Every area of our life is sacred.
The New Testament contains 126 instructions for our use of material possessions. We will summarize all these under 8-9 categories to learn how God wants us to use what He's given us for the edification of the church and the advancement of the Gospel.
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!
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