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Deviled Ham

Lord's Day Update Apr 16, 2013 Comments Off on Deviled Ham

This Sunday, Carl Schroeder will be preaching from be reading Mark 5 1-20, which provides us with the account of our Lord healing the demon-possessed man who is living in the tombs. You might also prepare by reading the parallel account in Luke 8: 26-38. We will be learning about the dangers of falling into sin, which the man in the tombs is a picture of, and the powerful redemption that our Lord provides to all of us. Here are some questions to help you prepare for the sermon:

· In many ways, fallen mankind is pictured perfectly by this man. For example, he has forsaken his home and is living in the “land of the dead” (the tombs), in the same way that Adam left his home in the garden of Eden with all of mankind to live in “the land of death”. Christ has come to save him in the same way he comes to save us. Can you identify any other themes or images in this passage that picture fallen mankind and the redemption of Christ for us?

· How did this man try to fix his problem?

· In what ways was the man different after he was redeemed by the Lord, compared to how he was before he was redeemed?

· Why didn’t the Lord allow this man to travel with him after he was healed? Why do you think the Lord made him stay behind?

Paul’s Farewell Tour

Lord's Day Update Apr 09, 2013 Comments Off on Paul’s Farewell Tour

Our sermon text for this coming Lord’s Day is Acts 20:17-38. As Paul continued his “farewell tour,” he left Troas and arrived at Miletus, a town about 25 miles away from Ephesus. Paul’s plans were to make it to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost, therefore he could not spend time in Ephesus. So instead, he stopped in Miletus and sent for the elders from the church of Ephesus to come to him in Miletus.

The rest of Chapter 20 records Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesians elders. Paul reminds them of the pastoral leadership he provided in Ephesus for the three years he lived there. Then, in much the same way Moses passed his ministerial duties on to Joshua, Paul affirmed the elders’ responsibility to carry on that same pastoral ministry to the people of Ephesus. This tells us a lot about God’s plan for the government of the local church.

In verse 28-35, Paul outlines for the elders some of their foundational duties in the church.

This chapter comes to an emotional end as Paul prays with the elders and they all grieve Paul’s departure. Of all that Paul said to them at that occasion, there was one sentence that stood out about the rest (v. 38). It’s the one in which Paul said to them, in verse 25, “And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.”

This was Paul’s farewell, and it was received with much grief.

Guys’ Night Out in Troas

Lord's Day Update Apr 03, 2013 Comments Off on Guys’ Night Out in Troas

This Sunday, as we return to our preaching series through the Book of Acts, we’ll pick up where we left off eight weeks ago. The sermon for this Lord’s Day is entitled, “Guys’ Night Out in Troas” and the text is Acts 20:1-16.

A significant portion of our text describes Paul’s travels around the Aegean Sea, going up from Ephesus, over and hrough Macedonia, down to Greece, and then back-tracking all the way to Miletus (which is near Ephesus). There are some interesting details about these travels and I’ll highlight some of those details during the sermon, but the primary focus for the sermon is going to be on verses 7-12.

It occurred to me that what was happening in verse 7-12 was something very similar to what happens when the men of RPC get together for Guys’ Night Out. Not that any of us doze off while those others are speaking, but we enjoy engaging each other in meaningful conversation. This is what Paul was doing with the believers in Troas, hence the sermon title.

As you prepare for this coming Lord’s Day, consider the benefits that accompany Christians who gather together to converse about the things of God. Do you find enjoyment in speaking and hearing about our triune God? How might such activities encourage the body of believers?

There are several indicators in our text that these conversations went on for an extended period of time. Paul obviously had much to say. Please plan to join with the body of believers at RPC this Lord’s Day as we will be considering those things that Paul spoke about.

Christ must increase and I must decrease.

Lord's Day Update Mar 27, 2013 Comments Off on Christ must increase and I must decrease.

This Lord’s Day will be the last week of our Bumper Sticker Theology sermon series. Our sermon text will be John 3:25-30 and the bumper sticker that we’ll be analyzing is that which says, “Christ must increase and I must decrease.”

This statement was first spoken by John the Baptist as he was answering a question from his disciples. John was acknowledging his proper role as the forerunner to the Messiah. John had completed his job; he had proclaimed the coming of the Messiah and now that the Messiah had come, the role and influence of the forerunner must decrease while the role and influence of the Messiah must increase.

This Lord’s Day we’re going to consider what it means, particularly in light of Jesus’ resurrection, for the Lord Jesus Christ to “increase.”

Be patient…

Lord's Day Update Mar 21, 2013 Comments Off on Be patient…

What’s the difference between an “excuse” and an “explanation?”

While there might be other points of distinction, the major difference is that an excuse is offered as an effort to deflect or avoid responsibility for a wrong committed, whereas an explanation is offered simply to provides further details about why the wrong was committed. This is a subtle, yet important, distinction.

Christians ought to be people who own up to their faults. When we do something wrong, the Lord tells us that we need to take responsibility for that wrong. So long as we’re taking full responsibility for our actions, it’s appropriate to provide an explanation for why we did what we did. Such an explanation can assist in the process of reconciliation, allowing the offended party to understand the situation better and perhaps be more quick to extend forgiveness.

Our bumper sticker this week is an explanation. It reads, “Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.”

This sticker is not an excuse; denying that the person driving the car has committed any sin. Instead, the sticker is an explanation, taking responsibility for his/her sin, yet offering an explanation for that sin.

And in that explanation there is an element of hope. The message of this sticker reveals an optimistic outlook on the finished product that God is in the process of creating. In other words, the person who places this sticker on his or her care is indicating that he or she is presently being sanctified by God.

Our sermon this Sunday will be on the topic of sanctification. The sermon text is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. Please read through these verses, paying particular attention to verse 3a, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.”

Listen to the sermon.