Healthy relationships are vital for the progress of the Gospel. Christian relationships in the church are founded and grown by grace. 2 Corinthians 7 is a practical chapter about how we get along in the church. We don’t get along without the supernatural work of grace – a personal relationship with Christ and growing in Christ-likeness.
On Sunday evening, we commemorated our Savior's death through song, Scripture reading, and observing the Lord's Table.
Too many pastors have been measured by worldly standards of success in this past year in the midst of all the distractions life and culture have brought our way. The real measure of successful ministry is what the all-powerful grace of God is doing in people's lives. Only Jesus Christ can transform a life so completely.
Imagine a doctor who discovers a long-time patient has cancer. She knows the news would make her patient very upset, so she only tells him to keep eating healthy and exercising, and he should be fine. The patient feels relieved when he leaves the office, but how has the doctor served her patient?
There is a difference between hearing what we want to hear and hearing the truth that we need to hear. Psalm 53 is one place the Bible tells us the difficult truth we need to hear.
When culture moves away from God’s truth, calling right wrong and wrong right, what happens to the Christian caught in that gap? Our Psalm today tells us that Christians must continue to trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God. Since our God is sovereign and good, all who trust in Him will be rewarded.
Did you know that one-third of the Psalms are laments? These honest struggles with difficult circumstances were sung by the congregation of Israel in corporate worship. We don't often pray like that today, especially in a corporate setting. What can we learn from these prayers that were inspired and preserved for us in God's Word?
Parables of Discipleship
1 Corinthians is a letter to a church that found itself in the most influential and cosmopolitan city of its day. Yet this was a troubled church. The church received the gospel, but it was not governed by it. In many practical ways, the church was governed by culturally-derived mottos rather than mature reflection on the gospel and its implications for life.
This will be true until Christ comes. This purpose is reflected in our church's mission statement: "Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness." Every Bible-believing church has been given this Gospel mission. Our Savior intends us to live His life, and His disciples demonstrated this. Both men and women tremendously affected Gospel progress in their areas in the New Testament.
The healing process takes time. The Corinthian church was healing, and Paul urges them to return to their mission. The overall focus in this chapter is pleasing God and living for redemptive purposes.
2 Corinthians 5:11-13
The aspiration of the believer is to please God, whether here on earth or in His presence in Heaven. The Spirit compels us to become more like the Son every day.
Paul had unescapable recurring threats to his physical life. How did he not become distracted? 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 gives an explanation and application of why he so looked forward to coming glory. There are several glorious realities that await us.
Why do bad things happen to good people? We know there are no truly good people, but we still wrestle when it seems justice is not being served. We want God to honor people who obey. Jesus addresses this idea of "retribution theology" in today's passage, Luke 13:1-17.
The world's allurements and performance-based external religion distract us from Gospel productivity. Paul instructs the Corinthians to enjoy working together in Gospel living and focus on their confident hope so they will avoid distraction, find renewal, and keep being spiritually productive.
No one enjoys growing pains, but most would rather have pain than not be growing. The Bible repeatedly tells us that painful times are divinely appointed for our growth. As we go through these times, God’s grace is an unlimited available resource we can utilize in every natural rhythm of life. God’s grace saves us and continues to compel us to grow in our Christian walk.
Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man, rejected by Israel, offered to the Gentiles. In this presentation, Jesus is seen as a universal Savior. The second book written by Luke, Acts is about the ministry of Jesus’ disciples after Jesus rose from the dead and went back to Heaven. In Acts we see the Gospel of Jesus spread from Jerusalem in Israel all the way to the ends of the known world.
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.
We’ve all delighted in new things—new things that ultimately God has gifted to us. But our delight in new things quickly fades. New becomes old. The universal, unescapable truth is that nothing stays new—not things, people, or relationships. Psalm 49 addresses this readily apparent yet rarely apprehended truth.
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