Please enjoy this message from Mr. Caleb Janson who filled our pulpit while Pastor Paul had a week off.
Mr. Caleb Janson exhorts us to live humble lives out of gratitude as we have been redeemed in Christ.
The Reformation really hangs on how one defines grace. Salvation by grace alone is wonderful, but what do we do when Paul exhorts us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling? How do we encounter such a God that causes us to be fearful and to tremble? How is it that we are saved by grace, but yet we have to work out our salvation? Do we rely on the Lord for our justification, but then really work hard to make sure that we conform to our justification? Or does Paul mean something else by this exhortation that shows we are just taking this verse out of context?
I bet that if you were to survey the average person on the street they would tell you to question leadership and authority. I would suspect that this answer would be consistent among conservatives as well as liberals. We would probably not be that surprised by this considering that we have witnessed leaders deceive and abuse their authority. So, why would we as Christians want to trust leaders in the church? We know leaders in the church have fallen into sin so why trust leadership? How does the apostle Paul set the tone for Christian leadership? How does setting such a tone for leadership reorient someone’s idea or notion of service?
We welcome Mr. Michael Spotts to our pulpit.
So, Paul wraps up this letter to the Philippian church. What is the final desire that Paul has for them? What is the thing that Paul wants this church to know if they never meet each other again? What is the ultimate comfort that we take from this letter? Does Paul want them to know that he is thankful for them giving him an offering or is Paul calling their attention beyond his ministry and their offering to him?
It is wonderful that Christians want to grow in grace and grow in conformity to the Lord. We should all desire to grow in the Lord. One of the things that is interesting is that Paul knows two things, but he knows these things because he has learned. How does this learning testify to the growing pains of conforming to the Lord? What is the benefit of enduring these pains?
When we face challenges in life it is easy to complain about challenges. I doubt that the first thing we think in our minds is that we just rejoice in the midst trials. On the one hand rejoice in trials might just make a mockery of the common curse of this age. On the other hand it might just dismiss the seriousness and the struggle of the trial. So, how can Paul command us to rejoice in the midst of trials? How can we rejoice always without being superficial regarding life’s challenges?
When we think about ethic we turn to passages in scripture that tend to be more ethical. What if we thought of Philippians as being a book that has many rich gospel truths that lead up to the reconciliation of two sisters? How do the ethics of the resurrection impact our daily life? How does the ethic of the cross impact our life as we go through this age?
Satan knew that the thought of being a slave is something that is just horrible. The hope that Satan presents to Adam and Eve is that they will not have to submit to the Lord, but they can be their own boss without any enslavement to the Lord. This leads to Adam and Eve to both see that the forbidden tree was pleasing to the eye. Will man ever overcome his desire to usurp God? Why would we want to be servants of the Lord?