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?
Food For Thought:
The gospel sets freedom at the very center of existence. It is not an extra, not an option, not a superstructure on a foundation of tradition and morality. It is the foundation. – Eugene Peterson
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:11-16
We Love Thy Holy Name - Adoration
Come, Holy Ghost - Adoration
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go - Grace
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior - Response
Into Thy Gracious Hands I Fall - Communion
The gospel of freedom, as we have been saying, is more than an idea or right doctrine or right belief. It is to be a lived experience in union with Christ by faith. In other words, it is a matter of the heart, renewed by God's grace for fellowship with him and service to him. In a sobering piece called The Early Symptoms of Spiritual Danger, Sinclair Ferguson walks us through some passages in Hebrews to help us discern and identify the vitality of true spiritual life.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus Lover of My Soul
Thou, O Christ, are all I want,
Here more than all I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am;
Thou art full of truth and grace.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, we humbly confess our need of your pardoning grace. We shelter arrogance and pride in our hearts and believe that our efforts are good enough to secure what only you can give us. We are quick to judge and grumble when our plans, pleasures, and preferences are threatened. We are slow to offer mercy, both inwardly and outwardly, towards those people you have placed in our lives and called us to love. Forgive our self-righteousness and our self-absorption. Fix our eyes on our savior, Jesus Christ, that we may become enraptured with Him, for it’s in his name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text – Galatians 2:1-10
1Then 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 that the 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 been entrusted 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.
1. Why we need gospel unity (v. 1-5)
2. How gospel unity works (v. 6-9)
3. What gospel unity looks like (v. 10)
Gospel unity is something Christians have struggled with since the birth of the church, as the book of Acts, Paul's letters and church history clearly show. However, Paul teaches us in Galatians 2:1-10 it is indispensable. Without it personal spiritual vitality and the mission of the church teeter on the brink of futility and insignificance (v. 2). Whereas, on the other hand, where gospel unity thrives (v. 6, 9) so too does our lived experience of gospel freedom (v. 3). Furthermore, gospel unity animates and empowers the church's mission to communicate God's good news to all kinds of people in ways that resonate and connect with them even if they reject it (v. 7-9).
But what about verse 10 and remembering the poor? How does that fit into gospel unity? Usually we think of gospel unity as confessing the same truths, which it no doubt is. But it's more than that. It's loving as you've been loved. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." (2 Cor. 8:9) All Christians are poor and helpless, which is what makes grace beautiful, forever changing how we view other people, especially the poor.
- What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from these verses?
- What questions do they raise for you?
- Was there anything that bothered you?
- Put yourself in Titus' shoes. How would you have felt at the meeting Paul mentions?
- How does gospel unity lead to flexibility and adaptability in ministry?
- What do you think the request to remember the poor teaches us about gospel unity?
Confession of Faith: The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried:
he descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.