More Than We Imagine

This week brings us to the third part of our series, What We Believe. With the Lifeway and Ligonier Ministry State of Theology survey as our jumping off point, we have been working to clarify some pretty core questions of Christian theology on which professed followers of Jesus in our culture recently reflected some pretty profound confusion. We have so far looked at the doctrines of God and the Holy Spirit. This week we are talking about Jesus. No other person in human history has attracted amount of interesting into the question of who exactly they are as Jesus has. Let’s take a look at the Scriptures together to see what He had to say about Himself and what that means for us.

More Than We Imagine

We’re talking about a survey in this new teaching series, so I thought we’d do a little survey of our own this morning. By a show of hands, who currently has an appliance at home that is still working and which is more than ten years old? How about twenty years? Thirty years? Who has an appliance that is still working that is more than thirty years old? They don’t make them like that anymore, do they? 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Timothy 4:3-5

“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (CSB –Read the chapter)

Here are some reflections this morning in light of the current teaching series we are working through at my church on Sunday mornings. I did not preach yesterday as we were out of town for the weekend. My Minister of Students filled the pulpit for me and did a terrific job tackling the tough subject of the personhood of the Holy Spirit. It really is a freeing thing being able to leave town knowing things are in good hands while I’m gone. Thinking about this series, though, what prompted the whole thing was a series of wrong answers given by people identified as evangelical Christians to very basic questions of Christian theology. How is it that so many Jesus followers could get such basic things wrong about their religious worldview? With some words from Paul to Timothy as our guide, let’s explore this together today.

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Truly Unique

What exactly is it we believe about God? Better yet, what should we believe about God? The Scriptures are obviously our most important guide here for followers of Jesus. Recent results from The State of Theology survey conducted last year by LifeWay and Ligonier Ministries, however, suggests that folks who self-consciously identify themselves as followers of Jesus hold some beliefs about Him and about the Christian worldview that do not line up with the Scriptures in any way, shape, or form. Over the next few weeks leading to Easter, we are going to examine some of the most egregious examples and talk about why the truth is so much better. In this first part, we will address the idea that God accepts worship from all different religions. Let’s dig in to see what’s true and how we can live in light of that.

Truly Unique

A few years ago, I was given a Kobalt 80V battery-operated leaf blower. All the leaf blowers I had owned to that point were ones you had to plug in. Being able to go cordless for the first time (and at a point when leaves in our backyard will pile up to a foot deep in the fall if we don’t stay on it) was fantastic. What I like even more than its power and portability, though, is the fact that its battery works in multiple different tools. I now own a leaf blower, a set of hedge trimmers, and a chainsaw that all use the same battery. That is just super convenient. 

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 3:14

“For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

It’s amazing how the kind of debates you have depends on the kind of community you’re a part of. This doesn’t mean that some debates are necessarily more important than others (some debates are more important than others, but this isn’t a reason for it), rather that different communities have different concerns. One debate I haven’t had for some time but which I used to participate in fairly frequently is whether salvation can be lost once it has been gained. As far as the Scriptures go, Hebrews contributes more to the back and forth of this debate than just about anything else you’ll find in them, mostly because of verses like this one. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 14:22-24

“As they were eating, he took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What is the Lord’s Supper? Or, depending on your tradition, what is the Eucharist? The answers to those questions are perhaps wider ranging than you might expect. Not concerning ourselves with theological distinctions for the moment, the Lord’s Supper is one of the two most significant Christian acts of worship there is. The other is baptism, but that is a discussion for another time. Followers of Jesus have been observing the Lord’s Supper (or, again, depending on your tradition, celebrating the Eucharist or Holy Communion) since the very beginning of the church’s history. A church that doesn’t observe this tradition in some form or fashion can openly be questioned as to whether they are a church at all. Yet what is it? Well, a full answer to that question is well beyond the scope of this brief reflection, but as we come to the most foundational passage on the matter, let’s reflect for just a minute on what is the most important thing to remember about it.

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