We often think that we need to attend to our own interests to accomplish anything of significance. But Jesus reminds us that success in God’s eyes comes only through focusing on Jesus and others, sacrificing our own desires, and committing everything to Kingdom ministry.
Jesus had no qualms about hanging out with “sinners” despite the pushback he received from the religious people in his day. Since he was more concerned with reconciling people to God than about how people perceived him, he was willing to wade into people’s messy lives even at personal cost to himself.
The compassionate nature of the gospel is rooted in God himself, but God includes us in the process and empowers us when we are committed to loving others creatively and persistently regardless of the cost.
The NT teaching that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to God is seldom well received and will often be costly to the messenger. Nevertheless, God is always faithful and will strengthen those true to the gospel.
Those who identify with Jesus and nurture obedience to God can live in joy even when facing difficulty.
Following Jesus carries costs associated with reputation and relationships, but the Holy Spirit is ready to transform and empower us when we’re willing to live and speak the gospel.
A church empowered by the Holy Spirit can inspire respect, but it is even more noticeable when it serves its community and transforms the lives of real people by effectively communicating God’s good news.
The church embodies the gospel in our own experience of forgiveness and in how we walk with God and invite others to experience his grace.
Joint Service – 4th Plain Baptist & The Gathering Place – John 14:12-14
We can expect the faith and works of “normal” everyday Christians to have extraordinary impact for God’s Kingdom when they are Spirit-filled and functioning as God intends for the body of Christ.
Understating our problem doesn’t solve it. But acknowledging our brokenness, repenting, and responding to God’s generous offer of mercy and grace brings redemption and new life. And by extension, God invites us to join him in extending that mercy to others through good works and testimonies of his grace.
Experience of the gospel in our own lives enables us to see brokenness that we never noticed before. But the gospel doesn’t just open our eyes. Faith in Jesus should pour out of us in such a way that people can experience the extravagance of Christ through us.
Baptism as a public demonstration of one’s faith in Jesus Christ is the initial indication that a person has heard, understood, and responded to the gospel. But this “fruit of repentance” continues in good works and by just “showing up” and growing in fellowship.
Being the church means recognizing our identity as God’s people, committing to his mission, and depending on his power to engage the world with him.
1 Peter 3:8-12 provides us with good direction for how we treat one another.
Being salt and light in a dark world means engaging in life with the people around us. Guest speaker, Frank Figueroa Jr., pastor of Waipio Grace Brethren Church, shares from Matthew 5.
Experiencing the Word of God, the Gospel, gives us the ability to be known and loved. Experiences of the Gospel in turn feed our craving for more of the Gospel and lead to confession and outward expressions of God’s grace to others.
While we were enslaved, when we identify with Jesus, we are adopted by God and made his heirs. Instead of being slaves to our sinful natures, we are made servant kings with all rights and privileges and the ability to live meaningful lives.
God’s law, while seemingly harsh, leads us to faith in Jesus. And in Jesus we find freedom that is then outwardly expressed through baptism and fellowship in community.
When we are adopted as God’s children we no longer have to live in fear of abandonment and can live in the knowledge that Jesus has freed us from slavery and given us a new identity.
Those who have experienced the forgiveness of God through Jesus have been given the authority and responsibility to extend that same forgiveness to others. This forgiveness among the people of God becomes practice for communicating that same forgiveness to a desperate world.