FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
Jesus’ followers live resurrection-formed lives, not by watching him or imitating him or being influenced by him, but by being raised with hm. It’s formation-by-resurrection. – Eugene Peterson
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing - Adoration
Jesus, I Come - Confession
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Grace
Take My Life and Let It Be - Response
Into Thy Gracious Hands I Fall - Communion
Doxology - Old 100th
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.
This week check out God.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, we confess that we daily sin against you and our neighbors in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions. Our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Colossians 3:1-4
The context for living the resurrection (Col. 3:3; Psalm 116:9)
The practice of living the resurrection ( Col. 3:1-4, 5,12)
The hope of living the resurrection (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:11)
The Heart of the Message
We often approach the resurrection of Jesus from the vantage point of whether or not it really happened and for good reason. The claims of the New Testament are nothing short of astounding. Everything about the gospel hangs on whether or not the death and resurrection of Jesus really happened in history (1 Cor. 15:17). But there is more…much more. The resurrection isn’t merely an historical artifact. It is a present power and reality to the believer in Jesus. So, what practical difference does the resurrection make for your life, today? Paul answers this question in Colossians 3:1-4 as succinctly as anywhere in scripture. He starts with our Christian identity. A Christian has died whose life is now hidden with Christ in God (re: Eph. 2:1, 4-6). A Christian is alive from the dead in the mortal body. A Christian is in union with Jesus Christ in his death and his resurrection. This identity fits our context and frames our outlook on the life of faith. It is a context fraught with peril (Psalm 116:3,8,10,11) with a unique outlook: “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9). Resurrection takes place in the country of death. In other words, resurrection is good news for living life this side of heaven. But what does it look like to practice living the resurrection? Paul gives us two key directives: put off and put on (Col. 3:5,12; Eph. 4:22,24). Why does he say that? First, Jesus was raised from the dead in order that WE might live a new life (Rom. 6:4). Second, the language of “put off” corresponds with the death of Jesus while the language of “put on” corresponds to the resurrection of Jesus. “Put off and put on” are not versions of “stop that” and “shape up”. They describe what it looks like to practice living the resurrection. What it looks like to seek the things that are above, to set your mind on Christ. What it looks like to become truly human, like Jesus, to become the man or woman, boy or girl, God intends you to become in Christ. “Put off and put on” is the daily, ordinary practice of experiencing the resurrection power of Jesus at work in your life. But the normal, ordinary, daily experience of life feels so slow and change so often seems utterly elusive. What then? What hope do we have for practicing living the resurrection when its hard and not flashy? Christ in you the hope of glory(Col. 1:27)! You don’t “put off and put on” alone. Jesus has taken up residence in your life by his Spirit to re-form us, even recreate us into his image (Rom. 8:29). He has promised to give life to your mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11). Living the resurrection is to experience the wonder and new possibilities available to the life of faith in Jesus Christ because it really happened. And if you belong to him, when he appears again you will appear with him!
What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
In your own words, what is a Christian?
Does the resurrection really matter? Why or why not?
If we want to grow and change, what does that process look like and where does it come from? How is it radically different than just “stop it and shape up”?
Why shouldn’t you give up living the resurrection no matter what?
Confession of Faith: The Westminster Shorter Catechism, c. 1648
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.