07.27.14 Worship Confessional

SpiritThis morning as we continued our series, “We Believe,” we explored the person and work of the Holy Spirit, focusing on these three dimensions:

  • The Personality of the Spirit
  • The Presence of the Spirit
  • The Power of the Spirit

I appreciate Dale Bruner’s work on the Holy Spirit and in his book, The Holy Spirit: The Shy Member of the Trinity, Bruner writes: “One of the most surprising discoveries in my own study of the doctrine and the experience of the Spirit in the New Testament is what I can only call “the shyness of the Holy Spirit.” What I mean here is not the shyness of timidity (Paul, in II Timothy 1:7 calls it “the spirit of power”), but the spirit of deference…the spirit of a concentrated attention on another. It is not the shyness which we often experience of self-centeredness, but the shyness of other-centeredness. In a word, the shyness of love.”

Speaking of the presence of the Spirit, Jesus said this to his disciples:

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)

And regarding the power of the Spirit, NT Wright declares:

“The point of the Holy Spirit is to enable those who follow Jesus to take into all the world the news that he is Lord, that he has won the victory over the forces of evil, that a new world has opened up and that we are to help make it happen.”

In light of these dynamics here are two questions to consider:

  1. How does knowing you are not alone (divine and human partners) change your mission to share the Kingdom in word and deed?
  2. What are some areas where you need to be encouraged to speak or act?

Here is our complete worship flow:

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

07.20.14 Worship Confessional

Apostles-Creed-Banner1For Jesus fought and conquered and through obedience doing away with disobedience completely: for he bound the strong man, and set free the weak, and endowed his own handiwork with salvation, by destroying sin. (Irenaeus)

Yesterday, we continued our series, “We Believe,” by looking at the work of Jesus. The creed, capturing the spirit of Ephesians 4: 9-10, gives witness first to the descent of Jesus:

  • He suffered under Pontius Pilate
  • Was crucified, died and was buried
  • He descended into hell

And then boldly proclaims the ascent of Christ:

  • On the third day He rose again from the dead
  • He ascended into heaven
  • Sits at the right hand of God the Father
  • And judges the Living and the Dead

As you consider the work of Jesus, here are two questions to reflect upon:

  1. In what ways and places do you long to see the powers of evil overcome, both personally and globally?
  2. What are the comforts and challenges from realizing that our judge is also our redeemer’?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Beautiful Jesus (Kristian Stanfill)
  • Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
  • The Apostles Creed
  • This We Believe (Hillsong)
  • Interview with Audrey
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (We Believe in Jesus)
  • Jesus, Messiah (Chris Tomlin)
  • Benediction

You can learn what other communities of faith expereinced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected.

07.13.14 Worship Confessional

Apostles-Creed-Banner1“Jesus Christ, as he is attested to us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death. We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.” (The Theological Declaration of Barmen, written in 1934 by the confessing church in Germany)

Yesterday as we continued our series, “We Believe,” we explored the truths expressed in the creed about the second member of the Trinity. “We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” The early church gave the person and work of Jesus the greatest weight in this creed because our faith hinges on who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. That was true in the earliest days of the church and remains truth to this day.

In his book, The Apostles Creed for Today, Justo González writes:

“Time has passed, and it would seem that the claim that Jesus Christ is Lord has become commonplace and has lost most of its edge. We tend to think that the lordship of Christ is it purely religious statement, or at best a statement about how we are to conduct our daily lives. We tend to think that this is one of many commitments we have and that it exists side-by-side with our commitments to: family, nation, church, political philosophy, political party, and so forth. But the lordship of Christ, properly understood, questions or at least limits every other lordship and every other allegiance. When the early Christians declared, “I believe in … Jesus Christ … our Lord,” they were not making an innocuous statement. Nor are we. We are saying that our ultimate commitment is not to family, not to nation, not to church, but to him. We are rejecting every absolute nationalism. We are rejecting any other unconditional allegiance. Otherwise, he is not truly “bur Lord,” but one more among our many lords.”

What would it look like if the church today declared in word and deed that “Jesus Christ is Lord?”

Here is our compete worship flow:

  • Your Name (Paul Baloche)
  • Your Grace Finds Me (Matt Redman)
  • Reading from Psalm 145
  • Hear the Sound (All Sons and Daughters)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • The Apostles Creed
  • This We Believe (Hillsong)
  • Message (We Believe in Jesus Christ)
  • Jesus, Son of God (Chris Tomlin)
  • Benediction: Jude 24-25

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

07.06.14 Worship Confessional

what-we-believe_wide_tToday we began a new series entitled, “We Believe” and throughout the month of July we will be exploring the historic confession of the Christian faith, The Apostles’ Creed.

We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

In my introductory comments I provided three reasons I believe the Apostles Creed is significant to the 21st century Church:

  1. The Creed narratives our faith
  2. The Creed creates a worldview
  3. The Creed guides our practice

As part of our gathering we introduced a new song from Hillsong called “This I Believe.”  I found this to be a potent congregational song that enables the church to sing forth its faith and I would highly recommend it to you. My only concern with the song is that the creed isn’t so much a personal statement of faith but a declaration of what the historic church of Jesus Christ has affirmed. To emphasize that dymanic, we changed all the “I believe” statements to “We believe.” If you are not familiar with it, here is an acoustic version of the song and also the story behind it.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (traditional)
  • Psalm 8
  • God of Wonders (Marc Byrd)
  • Oceans (Hillsong)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • The Apostles’ Creed
  • This We Believe (Hillsong)
  • Message (We Believe)
  • Reprise (This We Believe)
  • Benediction (Jude 24-25)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this past weekend at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

06.22.14 Worship Confessional

What-is-the-Gospel-A-Look-at-God-ManWhat is the best news you have heard this week? And what was your response to that news? With those two questions, yesterday we began a new series entitled, “What Is the Gospel?” Dave Bindewald, our Director of Teaching and Spiritual Formation reminded us that even as followers of Jesus, we can understate the fullness of the Gospel and the scope of salvation. He gave two primary reasons for this position:

  1. The Gospel Has Become Cliche
  2. Perhaps We Haven’t Heard the Whole Gospel

Well, what is the whole Gospel? After exploring a number of texts in both the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Dave suggested that the whole Gospel is the forgiveness of sins AND the reversal of its effects everywhere.

If someone asked you the question, “what is the Gospel?” how would you respond?

We closed our gathering with the Christmas carol, “Joy to the World.” The final verse emphasizes the cosmic scope of the good news:

No more let sin and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings known
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Call to Worship: Psalm 150:6
  • All Creatures of Our God and King (Crowder version)
  • Salvation Is Here (Hillsong)
  • Hear the Sound (All Sons and Daughters)
  • Psalm 130
  • Unison Prayer of Confession
  • Words of Assurance from Matthew 11:28-30
  • Come As You Are (Crowder)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (What Is the Gospel?)
  • Joy to the World (Traditional)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this past weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…