We serve a speaking God. Jesus speaks to his church and reveals his will. Apart from this specific revelation of Christ, we would surely be lost.
A local church in submission to Christ can surely expect to hear from him if she so desires. We did. We heard.
The specificity with which we heard is refreshing and enlightening. So what did we hear? It wasn’t so much a pass or fail as it was a course correction. We were affirmed in our pursuit of truth, fight for sexual purity, and dedication to one another. We were called on to a greater appreciation of Christ’s headship, a stronger body life, prayerful dependence upon him, more focused discipleship, and a communication of our gospel message.
Going forward, insofar as we walk in what we have heard, we enjoy fellowship with him and blessing on the work. If we are unable to properly assess what has happened, there is nothing left but a casual drift which invariably leads to irrelevance and a disconnect with reality.
To the point we now turn. Seven times Jesus says to the churches of Asia Minor “He who has an ear, let him hear…” Seven times Jesus says to the churches of Asia Minor “to the one who conquers…”
The first saying is an invitation to whomever to take heed. It contains the promise of greater intimacy with Christ if the “hearer” will but obey. The second saying is an encouragement to the ones who press forward in obedience. Will all conquer? We do not know. For those who do, a gift from God awaits them.
The questions before us as individuals are two-fold. One, are we able to hear? Two, are we among those who conquer?
This message comes from Revelation 2-3. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
Pauls tells us “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling…”
Say what? Immediately questions come to our mind. Should we not focus on doing away with slavery? What if I’m asked to do something immoral? What if the boss is a ‘jerk’? What about human rights?
At the core of these questions is a concern. It might go like this, “I can’t entrust my welfare to someone else.” This concern is entirely legitimate based on human experience. We’ve been shown that people will abuse people. People in authority cannot be trusted.
Before we protest further, though. Let’s consider the pattern of our Lord. He obeyed his parents. He submitted to the Law which was held in his day. He eventually obeyed his Father, being obedient to the very point of death (Philippians 2). Even in giving up his life to his tormentors, Jesus did this as an act of worship and obedience to his Father.
Returning now to Ephesians 6, the key word in the passage is “obey”. It does mean what we think it means. In the context the rendering up of obedience is actually God’s will. It is not secondary, it is on point!
In our obedience to earthly masters and employees we properly adorn the doctrine of Christ. Titus describes it that way (Titus 2). When we obey our earthly masters we make Jesus look good. When we make Jesus look good, it actually communicates a message to our generation. God can be trusted.
So, want to preach without words? This is how you do it.
This message comes from Ephesians 6:5-8. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
In working through our Corporate Covenant, we come to that portion focused on discipleship. What I would like to do is share some personal history, develop some definitions, and point the way forward for us as a people of God.
As to personal history, here we go. From the time I was born, I have attended church. My parents always took me. During high school, college, seminary, as a single adult, and now as a married man with children, I have always attended church. Most of the models I’ve had the privilege to be in have stressed the gathering time as the primary means of discipleship.
For example, Sunday School, Sunday morning worship, and Wed. night prayer were the primary vehicles of discipleship. Mission was largely accomplished one-on-one. The goal was to get unbelievers to the church services, more or less. The vehicles of Sunday School etc. were sufficient to disciple people. This may be a little simplistic and it may be contrary to what my leaders intended. Either way, it was my takeaway.
For me and perhaps for many of you, at FCC, this was the paradigm.
This construct did facilitate a disconnect between the person who showed up at church and the person who lived life away from church. Additionally, the idea was, get information at the services and then you will be a better disciple.
The difficulties with the paradigm I’ve yielded to for many years is simple. How can you practice the works of Jesus when discipleship is largely church service and information oriented?
In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus says that everyone who hears his [Jesus’] words and does them is the wise man who builds on the rock. Everyone who hears his words and does not do them is like a foolish man who builds on sand.
A disciple of Jesus is a person who lives life the way Jesus lived life. Discipleship is that process of learning how to live the life that Jesus lived. To disciple someone is to teach them to live like Jesus lived. This process includes the classroom but it also includes real life. This includes learning the three areas of focus in our Lord’s life: UP, IN, OUT.
The leadership of FCC is responsible to see that discipleship is implemented and celebrated here correctly. We do not support an information based model of discipleship. For this reason, in the last two years we have changed a lot of how we do things. We have Missional Communities. Here we practice the three rhythms of Jesus. We don’t just talk about them, we do them. Even at a corporate level, we are developing rhythms of practice as opposed to rhythms of information.
The goal is very simple. We want to teach and equip the people of FCC to live a life like Jesus lived! Presently we have added two vehicles to help us better translate this to our fellowship: Missional Communities and Huddles. We frame discipleship in terms of practicing UP, IN, and OUT. We fight to guard against information based discipleship, instead, adding imitation, and innovation.
This message comes from Matthew 7:24-27. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
Join us in Cinnamon Sunday for sweet fellowship on New Year’s Day! SPECIAL TIME – 10am
The time is from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Yes you read right because Cinnamon Sunday is falling on New Year’s Day this year we pushed back service for a half hour. This will give everyone a chance to relax and catch our breath from the Christmas Season and bring in the new year of 2017.
Everyone is to bring something sweet and cinnamon to share with our fellowship and if you have drinks other than coffee to share you are more then welcome to bring that as well.
Merry Christmas to all!
On December 24, 2016 we will be having our Christmas Eve Service with area churches.
This year it is being held at the Hope Church at 1715 Columbia Ave., Franklin, TN 37064. (Formerly, Nashville Family Church, at the location where we have held our Easter Sunrise Services)
There are two service options: 3:30 PM or 5:00 PM. Please attend whichever time fits your family needs. (This is not a potluck like we have done in the past.)
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.
Isaiah 7-8 records an amazing word which YWH gives to Isaiah and the faithful. Two nations were preparing for war against Judah. They were coming. Fear was in the air, doubt, and distress were rampant. This coming catastrophe highlighted the sources of salvation, to which people looked. Some looked to the necromancers. Some looked to foreign governments. Those who did found out the hard way that that no salvation was to be found here.
In chapters 7 and 8 the Lord describes the psychological state of two groups of people: those who trust YWH and those who do not. Those who trust him are in a state of peace. They are confident, they are firm, they literally experience the sanctuary of God. Those who do not believe are characterized by fear, distress, worry, and madness. They placed trust in things which proved unreliable. Then, when urged to trust God they respond in ridicule and anger! In the end, they have nowhere to turn and are ultimately released into a life of darkness, isolation from God and isolation from hope.
In chapter 36 of Isaiah we see the entire nation practice trust in YWH when Assyria came to besiege Jerusalem. The words of the king of Assyria were specifically designed to plant doubt in the minds of God’s people. He urged them to not trust God. He pointed to all the cities he had just destroyed as evidence of the futility of faith in God. Hezekiah, under the onslaught of this scoffing and ridicule approached the Lord and appealed for help. Help came! The Lord killed off the entire Assyrian army, 185,000 strong!
In assimilating this revelation to our souls let’s note two things. First, trust in Christ literally results in a mind that is at peace. This is not theoretical or intellectual. Trust in Christ literally translates to a mind that is at rest. Second, trust in Christ literally influences outcomes. The Lord fights for those who wait for him (Isa. 64:4). Christ will come through for you.
This message comes from Isaiah 8:11-22. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
(Meeting at Moore Elementary School)
1061 Lewisburg Pike
Franklin, TN 37064
[Map & Directions]
Adult Bible Study: 9:30 AM