Yesterday Jon Smith preached from Ephesians 4:1-6. He said, “Becoming what God has made us requires that we cultivate unity among us.” We also sang “Amazing Grace,” the first of the ten hymns we are memorizing as a church.
You can listen online or download the message here.
1. With the word, “therefore,” Paul begins his transition to the practical outworking of the rich theology delivered in Ephesians, chapters 1-3. Why is theology (the knowledge of God and what he’s done is Christ) so important for our daily living?
2. Why is it so significant to our testimony as a local church that we maintain the unity of the Spirit?
3. Is there any way in which you are currently seeing/feeling that another person’s offense is more significant than what God has done for you in Christ?
4. C.J. has defined humility as “honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” Why is personal humility at the heart of Paul’s strategy for unity? How is God calling you to pursue greater humility in your relationships?
November 15 2008 at 2:40 pm 1 Comments
Tomorrow we’re gathering to worship the risen Jesus and to remember his death for us through the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. Please prepare your heart to share the bread and cup with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jon Smith will be preaching from Ephesians 4: 1-6 on the priority of unity. This is Jon’s second time preaching on a Sunday. I’m so encouraged by the growth and godly passion of this young man.
Speaking of young men, John David Maresco will lead us in singing. Just a reminder, this month we’re working to memorize Amazing Grace. Tomorrow we’re going to put your memorization work to the test on a few verses! Yes, the screen will be blank on several verses. It should be fun. See you then.
November 13 2008 at 3:12 pm 0 Comments
Right now the pastoral team is studying a book together called The Courage to be Protestant. It’s written by David Wells and explores the troublesome drift in evangelicalism away from sound doctrine. “It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant,” Wells writes. “To live by the truths of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today’s context.” Yesterday the pastors discussed a chapter titled “Truth” that deals with how people’s view of truth has been shaped by dramatic changes in culture. In discussing a right view of God’s word, Wells writes:
The Holy Spirit first inspired this word, whose principal work is now to point men and women to Christ and so to work in them that they are now able to bow before him, accept him for who he is, and by faith receive his death in their place. The Holy Spirit, in doing this, uses this Word to glorify Christ. There is no saving knowledge of God except through the truth of Scripture, except as our trust is placed in Christ by its teaching, and except as the Spirit imparts to us the desire to trust Christ in this way. We cannot know God in any other way. Whoever “does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God” (2John 9).
Some may want to quarrel with the claims of Scripture makes of itself, and how the apostles used it, and the place it has in bringing us the knowledge of God in Christ. But we should not be in doubt about what those claims are. Scripture does not merely contain truth. It is not a sublime statement of our understanding of God. It does not mark the forward progress that the human spirit has taken. It is not the result of the questing human spirit reaching out for something absolute. It is not a human guess. It is not just an approximation of what is out there. No. It is, instead the result of the supernatural work of God in the human writers, and what we now have is “the truth.” It is not partial truth, or incomplete truth. It is the full, accurate, and complete revelation of all that God wants the church to have. This written truth is fully sufficient for the church’s life in this fallen world.
Please pray with your pastors that our church would always have the courage to stand unflinching on the fully sufficient, perfect word of God.
November 12 2008 at 4:17 pm 1 Comments
On Saturday, October 25, all the Care Group Assistants of the church came together for breakfast, teaching from Brian Chesemore and interaction with the rest of the pastors and their wives. Our purpose for this time was to further equip and encourage these ladies in their roles and to give the pastors an opportunity to thank them for all that they do to serve the women of our church.
Ladies, thank you for joining us. We are so grateful for the many practical and often unseen ways you serve our church and partner with us in the Gospel.
November 11 2008 at 5:11 pm 4 Comments
Last Friday we wrapped up our “Week of Prayer” with a wonderful night of worship and prayer. Kenneth Maresco taught on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I was encouraged by this e-mail I received today:
I met you two Sundays ago at Starting Point. I just wanted to send you an email to let you know how much I enjoyed worship night last Friday. I am a new Christian. I was just saved about 2 months ago, after my first night of Alpha. I have really enjoyed becoming a part of Covenant Life and meeting so many great people. I found the prayer and worship night to be especially encouraging to me. I mentioned to someone that if we did that every single Friday night, I would be there! I don’t know how often these types of events are held at the church, but I would love it if it could become something done more often, maybe once a month?
Several people have told me they’d like to do these more consistently. I’m interested to hear what you think. Leave a comment. And for those who came, feel free to share how God met you that night.
November 10 2008 at 5:00 am 1 Comments
Yesterday I preached from Ephesians 3:14-21. I considered four questions:
1. Who do we pray to?
2. What should we ask for?
3. How does God accomplish this?
4. What is the ultimate result?
You can listen online or download the message here.
And here are Pastor Brian Chesemore’s application questions:
1. In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul lifts up a prayer for spiritual strength. How does Paul’s prayer teach us about God? What does it mean to know God as Father?
2. Paul uses numerous phrases in v.16-19 to emphasize our one spiritual need. What is the one fundamental need for the Ephesians and for us? What does Paul not ask God to do?
3. What significant work does the Holy Spirit accomplish in your life, as revealed in this passage?
4. What is the ultimate result of praying for this inward strengthening work of Christ?