Faithlife Sermons

Sermon: Advent In One Chapter, Part 2: "Experiencing Deep Church"

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Introduction- Moving Beyond the Superficial

Superficial- concerned only with the obvious or apparent : SHALLOW
: seen on the surface : EXTERNAL
: presenting only an appearance without substance or significance
Deep- extending far from some surface or area: such as
: extending far downward
Illustration: “Connection: How to Find the Life You’re Looking for in the Life You Have” by Kristine Klussman PhD
In Chapter 3, section CULTIVATE EVEN GREATER MEANING THROUGH CONNECTION TO OTHERS Humans find the greatest opportunity for meaning through relationships and connections to other humans. We are fundamentally social animals, and a growing body of research shows that our social connections have an astoundingly powerful influence on our lives, from our general satisfaction to our cognitive skills, longevity, and even things like how resistant we are to infections and chronic diseases.10 Not surprisingly, then, learning ways to boost meaning in your social relationships can supercharge your life with new levels of satisfaction.
So is even more the case within the church...
Illustration: @ Garry E. Milley has written an article titled “4 Ways We Can Foster Deeper Church Connections”
Addressing people’s feelings of disconnectedness whether in a large or small church setting.
Be intentional- church relationships have to be intentional. Be friendly
Stay focussed- on the gospel of grace & forgiveness and on the work of the Kingdom of God
Keep Learning- we come to worship as God’s secret service to receive our weekly debriefing & equipping- then sent back out into the world
Be the model- model what you want to see happen in the church in terms of deep connectedness with your brother and sister and Christ
Illustration: Deep Church by Jim Belcher
Deep Truth
Deep Evangelism
Deep Gospel
Deep Worship
Deep Preaching
Deep Ecclesiology
Deep Culture

Transition To Body

Body- How a deeply connected church looks

Connected by Gospel Truth - 5b-6

Colossians 1:5–6 ESV
5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,

You heard the gospel

John 18:37 ESV
37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

You understand the gospel- the grace of God in truth

the content of what is true, truth esp. of the content of Christianity as the ultimate truth
John 14:16–17 ESV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
John 3:16–17 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Romans 3:22–26 ESV
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 6:20–23 ESV
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Fruit- souls being saved

Fruit- spiritual transformation through sanctification

2 Corinthians 5:16–20 ESV
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Connected by Faithful Servants- v7

Colossians 1:7 ESV
7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
You learn from them
Epaphras heard and learned from Paul
The Colossians heard and learned from Epaphras
Paul heard about the Colossians love for all the saints from Epaphras
Beloved- to one who is dearly loved, dear, beloved, prized, valued
Fellow-servant- one who, along w. others, is in a relationship of total obedience to one master or owner, fellow-slave

Fellow servants- we serve alongside together- Deacons & Pastors

Colossians 4:10–11 ESV
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.

They are faithful in minister on your behalf

pertaining to being worthy of belief or trust, trustworthy, faithful, dependable, inspiring trust/faith,

Colossians 4:7–9 ESV
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
Colossians 4:12–13 ESV
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
Philippians 2:25–30 ESV
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
Hebrews 13:17 ESV
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1 Peter 5:1–5 ESV
1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Connected by the Holy Spirit- v8

Colossians 1:8 ESV
8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 2:1–2 ESV
1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
Pure love
Holy love
The Spirit- God’s being as controlling influence, with focus on association with humans, Spirit, spirit as that which differentiates God fr. everything that is not God, as the divine power that produces all divine existence, as the divine element in which all divine life is carried on, as the bearer of every application of the divine will.
Love made known
Love in the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:1–2 ESV
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Ephesians 4:3 ESV
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Transition To Close

Illustration: “The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times” by former first lady of the U tied States Michelle O’bama
Sasha attempted to fix us a couple of weak martinis—Wait, you know how to make martinis?—and served them in water glasses, first laying down a couple of newly purchased coasters so that we wouldn’t mark up their brand-new coffee table with our drinks. I watched all this with some astonishment. It’s not that I’m surprised that our kids have grown up, exactly, but somehow the whole scene—the coasters, in particular—signaled a different sort of landmark, the type of thing every parent spends years scanning for, which is evidence of common sense. As Sasha set down our drinks that night, I thought about all the coasters she and her sister hadn’t bothered to use when they were under our care, all the times over the years I’d tried to get water marks out of various tables, including at the White House. But the dynamics had changed. We were at their table now. They owned it, and they were protecting it. Clearly, they had learned. How do any of us turn into adults, with real grown-up lives and real grown-up relationships? Mostly through trial and error, it would seem. By just figuring it out. Many of us, I think, puzzle out our identities only over time, figuring out who we are and what we need in order to get by. We approximate our way into maturity, often following some loose idea of what we believe grown-up life is supposed to look like. We practice and learn, learn and practice. We make mistakes and then start over again. For a long time, a lot feels experimental, unsettled. We try on different ways of being. We sample and discard different attitudes, approaches, influences, and tools for living until, piece by piece, we begin to better understand what suits us best, what helps us most.
They are practicing. They are learning. They are mid-process, partway to where they’d like to get. Each day, in some small way, they refine their conception of who they are as individuals and how they want to live, trying to understand where and how and with whom they feel most settled and safe.
I believe that each of us carries a bit of inner brightness, something entirely unique and individual, a flame that’s worth protecting. When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it. When we learn to foster what’s unique in the people around us, we become better able to build compassionate communities and make meaningful change.
One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.
1 John 3:1–2 ESV
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help Love lifted me Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help Love lifted me


John 14:15–20 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Mark 1:7–8 ESV
7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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