Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do in Remembrance...

This week we share Holy Communion together.  I will be sharing the passage of scripture we find in Luke’s gospel concerning the Passover meal. Now, when the Lord's Supper was celebrated in the early church, it included a feast or fellowship meal followed by the celebration of Communion. In the church in Corinth for example, the fellowship meal had become a time when some ate and drank excessively while others went hungry. There was little sharing and caring. This certainly did not demonstrate the unity and love that should characterize the church, nor was it a preparation for Communion. Paul condemned these actions and reminded the church of the real purpose of the Lord's Supper. 

What does the Lord's Supper mean? The early church remembered that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper on the night of the Passover meal (Luke 22:14-20). Just as Passover celebrated deliverance from slavery in Egypt, so the Lord's Supper celebrates deliverance from sin by Christ's death.  Here is my outline with some scriptures I will be drawing on….

Luke 22:14-20

Remember well what the Lord your God did...
Deuteronomy 7:18 (KJV)

Assume your own responsibility
Galatians 6:5 (GW)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Participating in the Lord's Supper is an important element in the Christian faith and we should remember that Christ's presence strengthens us spiritually as believers.  My prayer is for that to occur on Sunday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nic at Night

It would be difficult to find any other portion of Scripture as well-known as John 3.  Probably most of us who were raised in church recall the memorable verse John 3:16.  Even non-church attenders have no doubt caught the glimpse of a sign at a ballgame with the words "John 3:16".  What is more, I am really not sure that their is any other statement of Scripture more applied than “You must be born again” (3:7). When Jesus revealed the necessity of the new birth to Nicodemus one night, he exposed our ultimate hope. This night interview is the first of a series of individual encounters between Jesus and persons who fit the description given at the end of chapter 2—those who approached Jesus with an inadequate faith.  We see Nicodemus (3:1-15), the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42), and the nobleman from Capernaum (John 4:43-54) all illustrating a certain view of who Jesus was and what He could do. But meeting Jesus face to face changed their views. It also changed their very lives. This week I will be sharing a message about the most important thing in life - your relationship with God.  Here is my working outline.....

Nic at Night
John 3:1-8; 16

The Must of the New Birth
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:7 (ESV)
The Marks of the New Birth

Jesus answered Nicodemus, “…but the Spirit gives birth to things that are spiritual. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound,
but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
John 3:7-8 (HCSB)
The Means of the New Birth
No one has gone to heaven except the Son of Man, who came from heaven.
John 3:13 (GW)