Every local church is a collection of individual church members. Therefore, fostering a healthy church depends in some measure on fostering healthy church members who understand the centrality of living and working together as one body for the glory of God. Most importantly, it requires members of the church to live out the implications of the gospel within the context of a local community.
The Bible does not just merely suggests us to tithe and give to those who are needy, but it commands us to give to the service of God’s church. We are called to give and be generous because it is a way of glorifying God and also a way of reflecting His character in our lives. God the Father had willfully and cheerfully given His only Son to be sacrificed on the cross to redeem us. So giving is in the very fabric of the gospel, and so should it be with those who believe the gospel and live the implications of it in their lives.
If depression is prevalent in the world at large, it is even more so in the church. Depression is a common struggle Christians experience because of their own failure to grapple with the situation in life, and also their limitation or inability in controlling the outcomes which they never expected or wanted to avoid at all cost. In this passage, we learn the characteristics, causes, and the cure for depression, as we see David battling with it.
What is the solution for two parties to no longer be in enmity with each other? The only possible solution is to reconcile. But reconciliation is often initiated by first person toward another and is more inclined to settle the matter at personal cost. In this passage, we see God taking such posture of reconciliation toward mankind, even to the point of sacrificing His own Son, Jesus Christ. He ordains His Son to die on the cross on behalf of sinners, so that they would be reconciled to Himself. Reconciliation is made possible only through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
There is one prevailing truth which the Bible keeps reminding Christians about, that is our eternal fellowship with God. This is not just our destiny, but it is also our longing. We were created with a sense of eternity in our hearts, which can only be realized in actuality when we behold God on the last day and enter into eternal fellowship with God. In this passage, the Apostle Paul explains why and how we need to keep groaning for our eternal home, which is God Himself.
In our culture, Christianity is often presented as a religion of supernatural healing (from diseases, chronic illnesses) and miracles (prosperity, prevention of death, dreams and visions, tongues). It is also seen as religion of prophecy about the end times. All of these gifts are seen as the necessary manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. In this passage, we learn how the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not mainly about tongues, prophecy and supernatural healings, but of Spiritual transformation in our lives through the ordinary means which God appointed.
Covenant Theology is an interpretation of the Bible from within a covenantal framework. It essentially seeks to set forth how God brings about the history of redemption in Christ through covenants (promises). As Derek Thomas puts it -“Covenant theology is, in one sense, an understanding that God relates to human beings by way of covenants—successive covenants—and that the Bible has two principal covenants: a covenant of works and a covenant of grace.” In this passage, we learn how the New Covenant (grace) is superior to the Old Covenant (works), and what it means for Christians today.
Any church community’s institutional stability and solid spiritual growth is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul explains what it means to be a genuine Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His name sake.
‘Decree’ literally means to order something that comes to pass. Christianity rests on the truth about God’s eternal decrees concerning the salvation of men, and controlling all that happens in this universe. Everything is predestined by God. As R.C Sproul once said – “What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God.” In this sermon, we meditate on the doctrine of God’s Sovereign and unconditional election which was decreed much before the world began.
We live in the world of injustice. What we see is evil, murder, abuse, corruption, partiality, discrimination, rape and the list goes on…We can all sense the injustice around us because we are made in the image of God, we have been given the ability to do Justice. The other sad reality is that we’re not just the recipients or victims of injustice, but also the perpetrators of injustice (even if it’s done in small ways). So how does a just and righteous God deal with injustice around us and injustice because of us? What does God expect from us? Listen to the sermon to find out.