FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
The core message of the gospel is that God invades us with new life, but the setting for this is most often in the ordinariness of our lives. The new life takes place in the place and person of our present. It is not a means by which God solves problems. God creates new life. He is not a problem solver but a person creator. – Eugene Peterson
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 3:1-7 & Titus 1:5-9
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name - Adoration
God of My Life, to Thee I Call - Confession
Jesus, Lover of My Soul - Grace
The King of Love My Shepherd Is - 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.
This week check out What is the Bible?
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)
The Church's One Foundation
The church's one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav'n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.
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, believing that our efforts will 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 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.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Ephesians 4:1-16
1. The giver of gifts (v. 7-12)
2. The goal of His gifts (v. 13-14)
3. The community of gifts (v. 15-16)
The Heart of the Message
Few passages in scripture present a more comprehensive and gospel centered framework for understanding God’s design and intention for the church. At the heart of this passage is the giver of gifts, Jesus Christ (v. 7, 8, 11). In other words, the church, its leaders (v. 11), its members (v. 12-13), and its growth are fruits of the finished work of Jesus (v. 9-10). Therefore, when we explore what the scriptures teach about church leadership, we are exploring the gracious gifts of Jesus to take care of us this side of heaven (v. 11). Why should we care about this? First, because God wants you to grow up and experience what it’s like to live a truly human life (v. 13-14). Second, we can’t enjoy God’s gifts to us in Christ on our own. We need the community of gifts rooted in love for one another because of Christ’s love for us (v. 2, 15, 16). Third and finally, we should care because Jesus gave his life in order that we might have his gifts.
What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
What are your most persistent questions about the church or church leadership?
Why is it important, actually necessary, to start with the gospel when we’re talking about church leadership?
In vs. 1-16 Paul uses the metaphor of the body to describe the church. How many different ways can you describe the way this body works?
In v. 16 Paul says the body grows and is built up in love when each part is working properly. How would you describe your part in the growing and building up of the body?
Confession of Faith: The Westminster Shorter Catechism, c. 1648
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.