FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves [people] will create community [wherever they go]. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Acts 17:16-17,21-34
Come, Christians, Join to Sing - Adoration
Jesus, I Come - Confession
There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy - Grace
The Church’s One Foundation - Response
God is My Refuge and Strength - Communion
Doxology - Tallis Canon
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of Exodus 19-40.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
If you are interested in learning more about what's going on downtown and even want to weigh in on the conversation here might be an interesting way to get involved.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus, The Lord, My Savior Is
Whate’'er I need in Jesus dwells,
And there it dwells for me;
’Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.
Mercy and truth and righteousness,
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
In Whom I stand complete.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Merciful Father, forgive us the sins of our tongues—for deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and ill temper. Forgive us for the sins of our eyes—for impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than you have given us. Forgive us the sins of our hearts—for hard-heartedness toward you and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all, for rebelling against you and doubting your love. Father, transform us by your grace to live wholly for your glory, for it is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Philippians 2:1-11
1. The Character of Gospel Community (v. 2-5)
2. The Power for Gospel Community (v.1,6-11)
The Heart of the Message
This week we looked at the third of our four core values at RMC: Gospel Community. Philippians 2:1-11 teaches what true Gospel Community really is and how it’s possible. Paul says the key to Gospel Community is counting others as more important than yourself (v. 3). And yet, we are utterly allergic to this idea. It grates at our sensibilities and it exposes our limitations. It seems overwhelming and impossible. Even for those of us who love the idea of Gospel Community, must take to heart Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s warning, “those who love their dream of community will destroy community, but those who love people will create community wherever they go.” Like everything in the life of faith, Gospel Community is a supernatural gift built on the gospel and made possible by the gospel. Therefore, Paul surrounds the character of Gospel Community with the power and pattern for Gospel Community (v. 1, 6-11). In verse 1 Paul lists a number of gospel privileges enjoyed by all who are in Christ. In verse 6-11 Paul unfolds the unique mindset we are given in Christ for living towards one another. Paul doesn’t give us a list of “to dos.” He puts in front of us the humility and exaltation of Jesus. As a whole this passage requires us to ask two indispensable questions if we are to enjoy true Gospel Community: 1) What value do you place on others? 2) What do you make of Jesus?
What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
What is your initial reaction to Paul’s directives in v. 3-5?
Paul says the key to Gospel Community is humility (v. 3-4). How would you describe the humility of Jesus from vs. 6-8? How does it make you feel? What does it make you want to do?
Why is the exaltation of Jesus (v. 9-11) good news for our daily efforts at Gospel Community?
Discuss this quote in light of your thoughts and expectations about community: “Those who love their dream of community will destroy community, but those who love people will create community wherever they go.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 37. How does the Holy Spirit help us?
A. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, comforts us, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts and the desire to obey God; he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.