FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap!
The Sunday Recap includes an assortment of items to help keep the Gospel in front of you throughout the week. Most are from the previous Sunday while a couple look ahead to next Sunday. As you read consider these questions. Did anything land with you during worship? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?
Rev. Alton Hardy, Pastor Urban Hope Community Church in Fairfield, AL
This past Sunday our friend Alton Hardy preached on Galatians 2:1-10 especially verse 10: "Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." In addition to preaching the gospel of free grace as the only true motivator for loving the poor, Alton told us a little bit about the church he is planting in Fairfield. Urban Hope is a PCA church plant of Evangel Presbytery of which we are a member congregation. Some really beautiful things are happening in Fairfield through Urban Hope. If you would like to learn more visit their website. RMC has committed to financially support Urban Hope as part of our missions budget. But if you would like to give directly to Urban Hope you may do so here. Please pray that God would build a lasting relationship between Urban Hope and RMC for his glory and the good of our city.
Food For Thought:
My experience as a pastor has been that those who are middle-class in spirit tend to be indifferent to the poor, but people who come to grasp the gospel of grace and become spiritually poor find their hearts gravitating toward the materially poor. To the degree that the gospel shapes your self-image, you will identify with those in need…. In other words, when Christians who understand the gospel see a poor person, they realize they are looking into a mirror. Their hearts must go out to him or her without an ounce of superiority or indifference. – Tim Keller
Songs for this week:
Praise to the Lord - Adoration
Come, Christians Join to Sing - Adoration
Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder - Grace
My Jesus Has Done All Things Well - Response
Thy Mercy, My God - Communion
Sermon passage for this week: Psalm 95
Bassey Etim writes a first person account of his experience growing up in Milwaukee, WI and the racial divide that characterizes the daily life and culture of that city. In light of Alton's comments Sunday evening, this seemed to me to be a very poignant piece. In a related article, the authors tackle the issue that segregation in American cities can't be explained by income alone. "Affluent black families, freed from the restrictions of low income, often end up living in poor and segregated communities anyway. It is a national phenomenon challenging the popular assumption that segregation is more about class than about race, that when black families earn more money, some ideal of post-racial integration will inevitably be reached....The [reality]: Nationally, black and white families of similar incomes still live in separate worlds."
Confession of Sin:
Prayer of Confession
Loving and gracious Father, the more we delve into the depths of our sin, the uglier and more heinous it becomes. If we promise to do better, we lie. If we try to clean ourselves up, we are frauds. If we give because we feel guilty, we are schemers. If we serve to feel good about ourselves, we are self-righteous. If we pray only to get what we want, we are self-serving. If we read your Word so you will be pleased with us, we are manipulators. The selfish motivations of even our best actions condemn us. They are un-holy, un-pleasing, and un-like the One in whose image we are created. Please forgive us and help us to look only to the life-saving, life-changing, life-giving power of your grace and mercy through Your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
Confession of Faith: The Children’s Catechism Questions 105-108
Q. 105. What is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Q. 106. What does the tenth commandment teach you?
A. To be content with whatever God chooses to give me.
Q. 107. Can you keep the Ten Commandments perfectly?
A. No. Since the fall of Adam, the only One who has been able to do this is Jesus.
Q. 108. Of what use are the Ten Commandments to you?
A. They teach me what is pleasing to God, and how much I need a savior.
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:1-10
1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so thatthe truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had beenentrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
- Setting the stage
- The one thing to remember (v. 10)
- The only motivation for loving the poor (2 Cor. 8:9)
- What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
- What questions does this passage raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- Given the context of Gal. 2:1-10 how significant or central is the request of the Apostles in v. 10?
- How does v. 10 make you feel?
- What did Paul understand about the gospel you need help to understand and believe? (2 Cor. 8:9)