Faithlife Sermons

Redemptive History: David and Solomon's Temple

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The Big Idea: Throughout time the people of God have tried to limit Him and box Him in, yet He is: infinite, all powerful, righteous, just, and purposeful to meet us where we are in our messy lives.

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Welcome—Stephen

Good Morning Church! Covenant Members, would you join me in welcoming all of our first time and returning guests? (applause)
Good Morning Church! Covenant Members, would you join me in welcoming all of our first time and returning guests? (applause)
Good Morning Church! Covenant Members, would you join me in welcoming all of our first time and returning guests? (applause)
Yeah! So good to see all of you and to be here. I hope you have been made to feel welcome today. This church is about walking out this life together in the RADICAL GRACE of JESUS CHRIST. The Scriptures confirm that we are all a little messed up:
Message: Redemptive History: David and Solomon’s Temple
Yeah! So good to see all of you and to be here. I hope you have been made to feel welcome today. This church is about walking out this life together in the RADICAL GRACE of JESUS CHRIST. The Scriptures confirm that we are all a little messed up:
So good to see all of you and to be here. I hope you have been made to feel welcome today. This church is about walking out this life together in the RADICAL GRACE of JESUS CHRIST.
ESV for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
ESV for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
It’s our heart that here a Concord, that you are made to feel “Know, Loved, and that you Belong.” Scripture tells us:
Text:
We are also a Church where we understand the “radical grace” received through faith in Jesus Christ. And because of that, it’s our heart here a Concord, that you are made to feel “Know, Loved, and that you Belong.” No matter where you are on your faith journey: thinking about taking a step, just showed up, not thinking about what you are stepping into; you’re just starting to step; or, you’ve been high stepping with Jesus for a while. The point is, if that’s you…know this, you don’t have to clean up to come here. As a matter of fact Scripture echos that:
ESVbut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We are also a Church where we understand the “radical grace” received through faith in Jesus Christ. And because of that, it’s our heart here a Concord, that you are made to feel “Know, Loved, and that you Belong.” No matter where you are on your faith journey: thinking about taking a step, just showed up, not thinking about what you are stepping into; you’re just starting to step; or, you’ve been high stepping with Jesus for a while. The point is, if that’s you…know this, you don’t have to clean up to come here. As a matter of fact Scripture echos that:
Focus Text: ,
ESV but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
That means you don’t have to get it all figured out before you come. You don’t have to put on a mask to be accepted here. You come and we figure it out together…no matter where you are in your spiritual journey. Whatever season you are in, we know the struggle of this sinful world…but we also know that our God is bigger than our circumstances.
So you don’t have to get it all figured out before you come. You come and we figure it out together…no matter where you are in your spiritual journey. Whatever season you are in, we know the struggle of this sinful world…but we also know that our God is bigger than our circumstances.
ESV but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

covenant connection:

The Big Idea: Throughout time the people of God have tried to limit Him and box Him in, yet He is: infinite, all powerful, righteous, just, and purposeful to meet us where we are in our messy lives.

covenant connection:

With that said, I hope you received a program this morning you’ll notice in that program there more info about who we are and what we offer as a church. Now the insert is promoting some awesome things coming up like: this Wednesday nights—Concord U.
So you don’t have to get it all figured out before you come. You come and we figure it out together…no matter where you are in your spiritual journey. Whatever season you are in, we know the struggle of this sinful world…but we also know that our God is bigger than our circumstances.
With that said, I hope you received a program this morning you’ll notice in that program there more info about who we are and what we offer as a church. Now the insert is promoting some awesome things coming up like: this Wednesday nights—Concord U.
This is a Wednesday night group time offered in a college style atmosphere for our adults while we have gatherings for kids and students at the same time. On that insert you can sign up for some various class options (all are open to join—except New Beginnings).
This is a Wednesday night group time offered in a college style atmosphere for our adults while we have gatherings for kids and students at the same time. Our Wednesday nights are designed for the whole family. On that insert you can sign up for some various class options (all are open to join—except New Beginnings).
Also today, we have a FAMILY BUSINESS MEETING! We know that the business meetings have not traditionally been everyone’s favorite time, so we tried to recognize that and change it up a little because we think it is critically important that our covenant members know and be a part of what is going on at Concord. So Covenant Members be sure to hang-out, we are going to eat, laugh, cut-up, and have a family talk, where you know what’s going on. Whats new, the state of where we are as a church, and what is coming down the pipe.

covenant connection:

Also today, we have a FAMILY BUSINESS MEETING! So Covenant Members be sure to hang-out, we are going to eat, laugh, cut-up, and have a family talk, where you know what’s going on. Whats new, the state of where we are as a church, and what is coming down the pipe.
We will remind you later before we leave, but go ahead and mark your calendars in your phone…because we have a special called FAMILY MEETING for May 6th!!!! COVENANT MEMBERS . we will give you more info on that at today’s Family Meeting so (go serious--look right at me)...make sure you are there.
We will remind you later before we leave, but go ahead and mark your calendars in your phone…because we have a special called FAMILY MEETING for May 6th!!!! COVENANT MEMBERS . we will give you more info on that at today’s Family Meeting so (go serious--look right at me)...make sure you are there.
With that said, I hope you received a program this morning you’ll notice in that program there more info about who we are and what we offer as a church. Now the insert is promoting some awesome things coming up like: this Wednesday nights—Concord U.

guest connect:

This is a Wednesday night group time offered in a college style atmosphere for our adults while we have gatherings for kids and students at the same time. Our Wednesday nights are designed for the whole family. On that insert you can sign up for some various class options (all are open to join—except New Beginnings).

guest connect:

Also today, we have a FAMILY BUSINESS MEETING! So Covenant Members be sure to hang-out, we are going to eat, laugh, cut-up, and have a family talk, where you know what’s going on. Whats new, the state of where we are as a church, and what is coming down the pipe.
We will remind you later before we leave, but go ahead and mark your calendars in your phone…because we have a special called FAMILY MEETING for May 6th!!!! COVENANT MEMBERS . we will give you more info on that at today’s Family Meeting so (go serious--look right at me)...make sure you are there.
(Go back to upbeat)— Also, for our Guests we want to connect with you! You’ll notice inside the program along with the insert is a connect envelope. Later on in our service we will worship through a time of offering together; both guest and member.

guest connect:

(Go back to upbeat)— Also, for our Guests we want to connect with you! You’ll notice inside the program along with the insert is a connect envelope. Later on in our service we will worship through a time of offering together; both guest and member.
During our offering portion of worship we will give all of you a moment to fill out the connect envelopes, that also serve as a place you can give any money or financial gift that you would offer to the Lord. During that time you will have an opportunity to pray over your gift to the Lord as well.
Simply place the Lord’s gift in the envelope; fill out the connect info and during our offering worship, you can place both, the insert and the connect envelope in the offering plate as it passes.
Regardless, we desire to connect with you and help you get plugged in.

Call to Worship

(Go back to upbeat)— Also, for our Guests we want to connect with you! You’ll notice inside the program along with the insert is a connect envelope. Later on in our service we will worship through a time of offering together; both guest and member.
During our offering portion of worship we will give all of you a moment to fill out the connect envelopes, that also serve as a place you can give any money or financial gift that you would offer to the Lord. During that time you will have an opportunity to be obedient and pray over your gift to the Lord as well.
Well, here we are this day, gathered together so we can worship our God together. Some of us here for the music, and some for the friends, and some for the cookies and coffee. And we are all here because of God. Now is the time to give thanks, to unload our hearts, to share our lives, and to hear the Story again.
During our offering portion of worship we will give all of you a moment to fill out the connect envelopes, that also serve as a place you can give any money or financial gift that you would offer to the Lord. During that time you will have an opportunity to pray over your gift to the Lord as well.
As we gather this day, each of us brings something to worship – We bring the burdens of the week. We bring prayers of hope, and prayers of anguish. We bring our voices, and our offerings, and our questions. We bring our faith, tattered or whole as it may be. We bring all this to each other and to God, whom we worship today.
Simply place the Lord’s gift in the envelope; fill out the connect info and during our offering worship, you can place both, the insert and the connect envelope in the offering plate as it passes.
So, friends, let us worship God!
Simply place the Lord’s gift in the envelope; fill out the connect info and during our offering worship, you can place both, the insert and the connect envelope in the offering plate as it passes.
As we gather this place today, each of us brings something to worship – We bring the burdens of the week. We bring prayers of hope, and prayers of anguish. We bring our voices, and our offerings, and our questions. We bring our faith, tattered or whole as it may be. We bring all this to each other and to God, whom we worship today.
Regardless, we desire to connect with you and help you get plugged in.
Regardless, we desire to connect with you and help you get plugged in.
Invocational Prayer

Call to Worship

Call to Worship

Well, here we are this day, gathered together so we can worship our God together. Some of us here for the music, and some for the friends, and some for the cookies and coffee. And we are all here because of God. Now is the time to give thanks, to unload our hearts, to share our lives, and to hear the Story again.
*give worship team time to get set…as you call the ppl to bow and pray
Well, here we are this day, gathered together so we can worship our God together. Some of us here for the music, and some for the friends, and some for the cookies and coffee. And we are all here because of God. Now is the time to give thanks, to unload our hearts, to share our lives, and to hear the Story again.
Worship Team takes the stage during prayer (start song after prayer)
So, friends, let us worship God!
So, friends, let us worship God!
*…leave a gap of silence…to the point of uncomfortableness…let the Holy Spirit’s words start to sink within all…then pray:
So, friends, let us worship God!
“Here we are Lord! We come from the busy-ness of our daily lives from the chaos of our work and play from the dimness and cry of the world around us, we come... to worship you.
As we gather this place today, each of us brings something to worship – We bring the burdens of the week. We bring prayers of hope, and prayers of anguish. We bring our voices, and our offerings, and our questions. We bring our faith, tattered or whole as it may be. We bring all this to each other and to God, whom we worship today.
As we gather this place today, each of us brings something to worship – We bring the burdens of the week. We bring prayers of hope, and prayers of anguish. We bring our voices, and our offerings, and our questions. We bring our faith, tattered or whole as it may be. We bring all this to each other and to God, whom we worship today.

Invocational Prayer

Invocational Prayer
In this hour, we long to meet you, to feel your presence surrounding us, enveloping us, loving us. We long to settle into silence, laying aside our worries and our cares, aware of your presence around us...,
*give worship team time to get set…as you call the ppl to bow and pray
*give worship team time to get set…as you call the ppl to bow and pray
before us, behind us, within us. Come, Lord Jesus. Come. Amen.”

Worship Team takes the stage (start song after prayer)

Worship Team takes the stage during prayer (start song after prayer)
*…leave a gap of silence…to the point of uncomfortableness…let the Holy Spirit’s words start to sink within all…then pray:
*…leave a gap of silence…to the point of uncomfortableness…let the Holy Spirit’s words start to sink within all…then pray:
*with urgency and passion compel them to:”
“Lord, We come from the busy-ness of our daily lives from the chaos of our work and play from the dimness and cry of the world around us, we come... to worship you.
“Here we are Lord! We come from the busy-ness of our daily lives from the chaos of our work and play from the dimness and cry of the world around us, we come... to worship you.
In this hour, we long to meet you, to feel your presence surrounding us. We long to settle into silence, laying aside our worries and our cares, aware of your presence around us..., before us, behind us, within us. Come, Lord. Amen.”
In this hour, we long to meet you, to feel your presence surrounding us, enveloping us, loving us. We long to settle into silence, laying aside our worries and our cares, aware of your presence around us...,
Would you stand and get after the Lord this morning? Because He is worthy! Let’s do it Church.
before us, behind us, within us. Come, Lord. Amen.”
before us, behind us, within us. Come, Lord Jesus. Come. Amen.”
*Stephen exits the stage
*with urgency and passion compel them to:”
*with urgency and passion compel them to:”
Would you stand and get after the Lord this morning? Because He is worthy! Let’s do it Church.
Would you stand and get after the Lord this morning? Because He is worthy! Let’s do it Church.

Worship Team leads us in preparatory song that calls us to Worship God

*Stephen exits the stage
*Stephen exits the stage
_______________________________________

Scripture Reading ||

by Wanda Pickett

Reader takes the stage as Cole is praying- then follows the script:

Worship Team leads us in preparatory song that calls us to Worship God

Worship Team leads us in preparatory song that calls us to Worship God

_______________________________________
Good morning church, and guests welcome to Concord. My name is Wanda Pickett, and I serve Concord as a a part of our Finance Team, in our Kids ministry, and my husband, Barry, and I serve where-ever needed.

Scripture Reading ||

I did not grow up in church, but today I can say boldly that I am passionate about the good news of Jesus and how our vision and mission, as a church, make Him known.

by Wanda Pickett

Our mission is that: We exist to connect people through loving community as we introduce them to Jesus and help them follow Him.

Reader takes the stage as Cole is praying- then follows the script:

This morning I have the privilege of sharing with you the God’s holy inspired Word from the Scriptures.
Good morning church, and guests welcome to Concord. My name is Wanda Pickett, and I serve Concord as a a part of our Finance Team, in our Kids ministry, and my husband, Barry, and I serve where-ever needed.
I did not grow up in church, but today I can say boldly that I am passionate about the good news of Jesus and how our vision and mission, as a church, make Him known.
Would you please turn with me in your Bibles or on your device, to the book of 2 Corinthians (found in the New Testament), chapter 5, and we will be reading starting in verse 17. (**Only mention the first verse so people won’t read ahead.)
Our mission is that: We exist to connect people through loving community as we introduce them to Jesus and help them follow Him.
This morning I have the privilege of sharing with you the God’s holy inspired Word from the Scriptures.
If you are joining us this morning and you do not have a Bible, you should see a White Paperback one lying around under your seats, feel free to use that one. And if you don’t own a Bible, consider that our free gift to you. We will even provide you with the page number on the screen to help you find our texts throughout our worship.
Would you please turn with me in your Bibles or on your device, to the book of 2 Corinthians (found in the New Testament), chapter 5, and we will be reading starting in verse 17. (**Only mention the first verse so people won’t read ahead.)
*do not read this...(take a moment—count to 3 in your head then READ—Book, Chapter, Verse, then Scripture)
If you are joining us this morning and you do not have a Bible, you should see a White Paperback one lying around under your seats, feel free to use that one. And if you don’t own a Bible, consider that our free gift to you. We will even provide you with the page number on the screen to help you find our texts throughout our worship.
2 Corinthians 5:17–21 ESV
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. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
*do not read this...(take a moment—count to 3 in your head then READ—Book, Chapter, Verse, then Scripture)
2 Cor
2 Corinthians 5:17–21 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
(Say:) This is the Word of the Lord. (then exit the stage) ____________________________________________

sermon

(then exit the stage)

introduction

How we doing this morning? Good.
hank you Wanda for opening us up with that Scripture. What a beautiful reminder of the hope we have in Jesus. So…let’s continue excavating, and mining God’s Word through the Acts of the Apostles and the disciples of the church that Jesus built. Where we are seeing a simple servant, a disciple, one who came to know Jesus and serve His church all because someone share the life-transforming, good news and hope offered in Jesus. His name is Stephen and as we’ve been reading about his Historical and traditional reminder of their past (the Jewish culture) and the point of this reminder is this:
Thank you Wanda for opening us up with that Scripture. What a beautiful reminder of the hope we have in Jesus.
So…let’s continue excavating, and mining God’s Word through the Acts of the Apostles and the role of the disciples of the church that Jesus built as we seek for ourself obedient, Christ honoring “Deep Community.”
The guy I’m referring to is Stephen and as we’ve been reading about his Historical and traditional reminder of their past (the Jewish culture) and the point of this reminder is this:
What we’ve been seeing throughout this study, so far, is a simple servant, a disciple, Stephen, who is boldly preaching Christ crucified, Christ, the risen Savior, and he’s preaching it to a crowd that was pleased by the death and murder of Jesus.
Throughout time the people of God (both Stephen’s audience and ours today) have tried to limit God and put Him in a box, yet, He, [God] is: infinite, all powerful, righteous, just, and purposeful; and meets us where we are in our messy lives through the God-Man, Jesus Christ. And because of that this good news, that hope, God’s rescue through Jesus, was and is still worth sharing.
Don’t you agree?

Let me catch you up before we dive in...
Let’s do work…picking up in Acts 39 where Stephen is wrapping up how God used Moses and the Jews of Moses day doubt him and rejected him, and how this repetitive theme continues in the people blind quest to be ruled by the desires of their hearts instead of submitting to the One who created them.
Let’s do work…picking up in Acts 39 where Stephen is wrapp continues in the people blind quest to be ruled by the desires of their hearts instead of submitting to the One who created them
***read through this section FAST****

Acts 7:39-
Acts 7:39–47 ESV
39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43 You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’ 44 “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
Acts 7:39-
Acts 7:39–46 ESV
Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’ “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
So Stephen is preaching about 2 years after Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
So Stephen is preaching about 2 years after Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
These religious thugs that he’s preaching to, had about 1700 yrs of tradition and religion weaved into their hearts, going back to when Moses was called by God.
Many generations of influence.
And as we go down the line each tradition added had a “man-made idea” to justify it. Not to mention the corruption of sin that stained everything that man touched.
So, I want you to track with me here and see where Stephen is leading these religious thugs to.
When he started to preach at the beginning of Chapter 7, He starts with the father of the Jewish nation, Abraham and how God calls Abraham telling him to go to get to a land that “God would show him.”
Acts 7:3 ESV
3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’
But Abraham wouldn’t actually possess the land but the future people of his family would, and Abraham was without a son. Because of his obedience God made him a promise that would impact generations to come.
Acts 7:
Acts 7
Acts 7:4 ESV
Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living.
v. 5 says...
Acts 7:5 ESV
5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child.
Acts 7:5
Fast forward: three generations removed we hear of how God used Joseph, who would have been Abraham’s great-grandson, despite how his brothers hated him.
Acts 7:9-10
Acts 7:9–10 ESV
9 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household.
So what started as a promise of provision to great grandpa, Abraham; what was a calling of obedience from Yaweh, had been reduced to a fortune of land to obtain.
What started as a call to obedience (to Abraham), 3 generations later) men turned into a treasure hunt, or you could say, it turned into a rebellious real-estate auction.
Acts 7:17–19 ESV
17 “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. 19 He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive.
Acts 7:17 ESV
“But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt
Acts 7:17-
Then Moses comes on the scene and is called by God to rescue His people and lead them out of slavery from the Egyptian nation and into the promised land. For the called it was an inheritance, but to other it was literally an “earthly” possession.
And Stephen reminds them they (these religious thugs; Jews) had rejected Moses in his day, and now they celebrated him.
Acts 7:35–38 ESV
35 “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.
Acts 7:35-
But for these religious thugs, as Stephen is digging way back into their ancestry, he reminded them how they [the Jewish people then and now] quickly and repeatedly, abandoned God for idols made by hands, and to make up for that they built a tent where God could dwell among them. Which led to the worship of God in the tabernacle which turned into the worship of “God’s House” over God Himself. Then as he goes on, he points to how they would worship the wrong king.
Generationally speaking, what started as a promise and calling from God, got twisted into a desire for the promise of land.
And once that was obtained, a desire to worship what they had built for God, a dwelling place for Him, the tent which would later become the Tabernacle…
Stephen has taken both these religious thugs on a journey through memory lane and hopping the through Jewish history we land on a righteous king, a man after God’s own heart and we learn in v.46 that David,
then became a desire for a King…why? Because all nations had a king. They were now a nation they wanted a king.
Stephen has taken us and these religious thugs on a journey through memory lane and as he jumped through the Jewish historical hoops, he finally lands on a good king, a man after God’s own heart, and we learn in v.46 that this king David.
Let’s do work...

exposition || Acts 7:46-47

Acts 7:46 ESV
46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
Acts 7:46
Acts 7:47 ESV
47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
Acts 7:47
Why does Stephen go to the trouble of remind these religious thugs of all of this? Because God has been pointing us to Jesus since the foundation of the world.
Throughout time the people of God have tried to limit Him and box Him in, use him for the land He would provide. They used and abused His grace so they could feel as big and as great as the surrounding nations. They used his name to build a fine church. The church of all churches where God Himself would dwell.
But because our minds are: finite, shallow, sinful, and corrupt. And because His is infinite, all powerful, righteous, just, and gracious to meet us where we are in our messy lives.

exposition || Acts 7:48-53

It becomes oh so important to understand what Stephen says next…and understand it has consequences...
Acts 7:48-5
Acts 7:48–50 ESV
48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, 49 “ ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50 Did not my hand make all these things?’
Now, remember he’s been setting them up with this history lesson (one they already know by heart…by the way, many of you who have been churched up, know these same stories by heart…let that speak to you); the history lesson is the appetizer to the main course. He is just starting to get to the meat of what he wants these thugs to feast on and hear...
Look right at me…Don’t miss this…Stephen’s been baiting his crowd the whole time...
Acts 7:51–53 ESV
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Acts 7:51-53
Stephen calls them out! He tells them the truth.
He let’s them know that they are so stiff and rigid in tradition that (they are so self absorbed) they can’t even relax enough to sense the presence of God.
All they simply want is to enjoy the amenities of God.
It’s funny Stephen would say that because you know what, not much has changed.
I was reminded of this church-culture reality in many ways throughout my week: meetings, school, visits, tense talks where people have been hurt by the church and through preaching (not my own), but by listening to one of my favorite pastor’s podcasts this week while commuting, just catching up on some Good Palm Sunday and Easter sermons. One of my favorite pastors, Matt Chandler, a pastor in Dallas, Tx, said this to his congregation:
The number one way people choose churches now is not whether there’s truth being preached. It’s not whether or not genuine discipleship occurs. It’s not whether or not there’s a seriousness about God and his mission. It’s chosen by the amenities the church offers.
Now think about how counterintuitive this is, not just to our natural flesh but also to the whole evangelical world. Why is it that we don’t fast as the people of God anymore? Why is it that’s such an outside…? Didn’t Jesus clearly say, ”The reason my disciples don’t fast is I’m here. When I’m not here, they will“?
”Man, I don’t like to fast. I have blood sugar issues. I’m a mean person if I don’t get a sandwich. What kind of metabolism do you think I have? This brother doesn’t need to fast. He needs to eat more.“ No, no, no. It’s a, ”Less of me, less of me, less of me“ desire that sees the power of God start to flow through you.
So the, ”More of me, more of me, more of me,“ the more you should not expect the power of God in and through your life. How does kingdom power work? It works on the cross. It works by dying to self. The number one way people choose churches now is not whether there’s truth being preached. It’s not whether or not genuine discipleship occurs. It’s not whether or not there’s a seriousness about God and his mission. It’s chosen by the amenities the church offers.
If you hear people talk about church, they’ll oftentimes talk about how much they enjoyed the music or, ”Man, I like that he is so funny.“ Or, ”You know, I really love… I get to go in in flip-flops and my underwear. [I drink my coffee]. There’s not a lot of introspection that goes on. I don’t really have to think about myself. I just get this kind of, ’You’re a good person. Go get ’em!’ kind of sermon. I start to feel warm [and fuzzy.] I [just] love it!“
Yet what’s the way to power? The way to power is not, ”Cater to my needs. Recruit me.“ The key to power is death to self.
That’s funny in a way, I laughed when I heard it... until it’s truth pressed uncomfortably against my heart.
And it’s not just a truth that exists in other churches, it’s a truth that exists in this church, because some of you that darken the door of this building (and that’s all it is…sheet rock, some metal and a brick veneer) and I say some, because let’s face it a lot of people rotate when they come. Some of you are shrinking away in your seat thinking “Today was a bad day to show up.”
The invitation to you from our King is, ”Take your cross, and follow me. Die.“ It’s not, ”If you have time on the weekends…“ No, no, no. You want to be citizens of the King? We die to ourselves.
How does kingdom power work? It works on the cross. It works by dying to self. The invitation to you from our King is, ”Take your cross, and follow me. Die.“ It’s not, ”If you have time on the weekends…“
t’s
Instead of deep community we are making shallow illusions of what the church was called to. “We are better at making attenders, NOT disciples.
We are good at nurturing, petting, and creating: un-attentive, preference driven, ‘Burger King-esque’ products of society ‘where you always have it your way;’ spiritually lukewarm, attenders that worship self way better than the true, living God.
I say come at me bro! You’ll have to stay to end service to do it though.
Here is the church we are raising up, did you know the national average for covenant member who attend corporate worship is once a month? if you go two times in a month you are just a holy rolling grinder of Jesus. Pat yourself on the back. Better yet, confront someone in their disobedience, or simply invite someone to church when you come.
Do you want to know why I can say that? Because everything we do and live out of is completely selfish. The only sacrifice 80% of the covenant membership of this church does consistently is show up once a month. And that’s a soft 80% with many of the churches leaders in tow. Wearing the “warm and fuzzy” smile as they trample a guest underfoot trying to get to the parking lot or nursery instead getting into someone’s life.
That’s the kind of disciples we are making. God forbid a leader of the church call you on it because they’re afraid they will have to pick your slack when you take your toys and go home, or go find a church you can hide better in or one that won’t hold you accountable to what it means to follow Christ’s command to make disciples…, we as the church, the Evangelical church, aren’t making disciples…in fact in case you haven’t heard anything I’ve said because you are in shock or red faced, let put it on record…we aren’t even making attenders much less disciples. Our faith is in whatever is important to us right now, and for most Jesus isn’t in the top FIVE.
We’ve got people who leave after teaching Groups, and want to be leaders! That’s ok, I get it, “why should you come to corporate worship? You just had church in your little room full of your people, and the people of your class just wave by to you…, “Great lesson…see you next week. Boy they sure are faithful to our group.”
“Why are they leaving we’re not done.”
“They’re having a difficult time…, nah, bro that’s a prodigal season!
We have covenant members who leave, right after preaching is over (that’s our more committed members). Since we’ve added security, here’s what I’ve been told you are safe!!! Precentage wish you are safer in the sanctuary than anywhere on campus.
And by the way, there are a lot of people who stay because they too are having a difficult time. The difference is they turn to the church that you are abandoning. They need the church that Jesus said would be there when He ascended into heaven. You can those people huddled broken at the altar in need of your prayers, because, they too are hurt. They too have loss; they have sickness; they too have heartache; the too have been treated unkind; they too have been betrayed. and they need Jesus more than they need an excuse to get back to grind of life. Not only do they need the church so does you and your difficult time.
And by the way, there are a lot of people who stay because they too are having a difficult time. The difference is they turn to the church that you are abandoning. They need the church that Jesus said would be there when He ascended into heaven. You can those people huddled broken at the altar in need of your prayers, because, they too are hurt. They too have loss; they have sickness; they too have heartache; the too have been treated unkind; they too have been betrayed. and they need Jesus more than they need an excuse to get back to grind of life. Not only do they need the church so does you and your difficult time. We need each other, thanks for mailing your tithe (if you even do that) and your prayers, but honestly we would rather have you here. Because there is something to be said about praying over someone in the worship service after the Word of God has stirred us up and reminded us his promises
The truth is, look right at me…we need each other! For those of you who are so busy, thanks for mailing in your tithe (if you even do that); thanks for mailing in your prayers, but honestly…honestly, we would rather have you here.
Because there is something to be said about praying sacrificially and interceding for someone in the worship service. There is something special to give back to God what already belongs to Him anyway as we are generous and obedient to His commands after the Word of God has stirred us up and reminded us his promises…one of which that He has saved us to Himself and to each other, as the local church.
If you are a guest, I would say this is obviously not directed at you…unless you’ve been hanging out as a guest for a long time and your reason for not committing is that you yourself are trying to hide…you can’t…Jesus see you. And for those who are looking for a church home, I would tell you that there is not such thing as a perfect church, however God maybe calling you here to plus us up, to fill a hole or need that we are missing…you could be exactly what we are missing. But if this kind of preaching makes you uncomfortable…I would say it should. HERE WHEN WE SAY WE WANT YOU TO BE KNOWN, LOVED, AND TO FEEL LIKE YOU BELONG, we do! How ever to be known is not to hide, to be loved is not to retract and avoid, and to belong is not simply to show up. IT SPEAKS TO A LOUDER TRUTH THAT WE WOULD NOT ONLY BE KNOWN-LOVED-& BELONG TO EACH OTHER, BUT THAT WE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE KNOWN-LOVED-& BELONG TO CHRIST!
You know what I’ve learned about the church I’m pastoring over the last year and half. Is there is a deep, deep, dark and corrosive spiritual apathy that exists more prominent than a place that would claim an en-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
How do I know? Because this is a depraved society and we have nestled in. So much so, that we added a security team, to protect the “faithful” covenant members of this church and the one report I’ve consistently received is the same report over and over again.
Our security team, wants you to know that you are safe!!! Those of you who stay in the sanctuary. The percentages are that you are safer in the sanctuary than anywhere on campus. Unless, you are a guest. Because security tells us that we need to get caution lights by the exit doors, so our guests won’t be caught in stampede when I finish preaching.
You want to know what’s ironic? We can’t afford to protect you. Because their is a limited amount of members who are giving, at all, much less faithfully. Guess what, that’s the report you’ll get from our finance team today. As a matter of fact you’ll learn even more about our condition at the “Special Called Family Meeting set for May 6th.”
I get from our finance team. Few of you stick around. Few of you sacrifice your time, talents and resources. Few of you join us in real, genuine, responsive, worship to lift high the name of Jesus.
But you would have to care enough to come to the family meeting today. The few of you who will stick around. So few of you sacrifice your time, talents and resources. Because here is the real…few of you join us in real, genuine, responsive, worship to lift high the name of Jesus, up high, few of you serve (unless it somewhere that brings you glory),…it’s apathay…it’s spiritual atrophy and it is rampant in God’s churches.
You leave because, we’re not playing your song, or because it’s too loud, or because you can’t worship to “that: kind of music, “That’s not real worship music Joe, that’s rock music, that’s for entertainment.”
Ok, really, my first reaction would probably be sarcastically, selfish, and completely fleshly as I would respond this way, “How do you know? You’re not here. You leave!
But the next thing I would say is this isn’t a show, we aren’t taking requests, the offering plate is not a tip jar for you to request your favorite song of old, this is not to bring you to a nostalgic stroll down memory lane in the church you grew up in, because dare I say if that you, you’ve aged, but you haven’t grown up, but you need too. Or you need to follow all the other spiritual babies who divorced God’s church without one Biblical principal, and did it all on preference. Wake up church, this isn’t “American Idol” or “the Voice,” and NO you don’t get a vote on what we sing in worship…INSTEAD, maybe, just maybe, you should consider setting your preferences aside. Better yet put them on the cross and put them to death! Knowing the your LORD set aside His life to redeem your sinful waywardness!
That’s my prayer, but some of you will leave as soon as the preaching is over. You’ll break into a sprint; run pick up your kids and head to the restaurant or grandma’s house, and we’ll get to see what you worship because you’ll post what you really worship on social media while the few of us gather here singing praises and ascribing worth to God. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait in line. Not in this life. But at least you brought your kids to church, right, [check]!
The only problem with that is you are killing the very church that you want them raised in, and taking them from the very church that they will leave and stray away from because of your example.
You got your blessing, [check]! You sat through a sermon [check]! You read some Scripture [check!]… You can check those boxes off when you are seated first at Cracker Barrel, parading as a representative for Christ as you go to show and tell everyone that you’ve been to church. That’s the problem. You might get the first seat at the table in this life, but what about the next? Are you rushing to get there or are you holding onto this one a bit too much?
You’ve been to the building, you’ve checked your boxes, but you haven’t been to church, because you are the church (a sad version at least), and just like you people are leaving the church because it doesn’t have the life and vitality of any kind of saving, radical, grace
You don’t offer your worship to God and and you sure do give your money to Him sacrificially. Why because the god you worship is the trinity of me, myself and I.

conclusion

Now think about how counterintuitive this is, not just to our natural flesh but also to the whole evangelical world.
What makes you and I any different than the Jews that Stephen was speaking too? Here’s one difference, they were at least a church when they started their thuggery...
Stephen would look at you and I and say...
Acts 7:51 ESV
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.
Acts 7:51
How are we any different?
Are you mad? Are you offended? Then you are no different than they Jews of Stephen’s day, nor of Abraham’s day; Joseph’s day; David’s day or Solomon’s.
If you are feeling offended, hurt, or angry, you are living in the shadow of an evil of death that is lurking. And just as the religious thugs did, your anger and rage is preparing to throw some stones of your own, just know that when you throw them your target is not me, it’s Christ. And know that you throw them while basking in the shade of your own judgment that hangs over you. Just like them...
What? You want to come at me? Come at bro! That just means you have to stay until the end of service…I’m not worried. I expect it…because Scripture reveals the apathetic, complacent, heart that is confronted with truth... verse 54
Look at verse 54...

exposition ||

Acts 7:54 ESV
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.
Acts 7:54 ESV
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.
Acts 7:54
See this truth clearly...
Throughout time God’s people have tried to limit Him, put Him in a box, yet, He, [God] is: infinite, all powerful, righteous, just, and purposeful; and instead, continually meets us where we are in our messy lives. How do He do this? By chastizment, guilt, and shame…no, Understand those are symptoms you feel because of your rebelliousness to a good God. He meets us in our mess by stepping down from heaven, meeting us low in the person of Jesus Christ.
Before you grind your teeth at me, or stomp out of here mad, how about getting real instead. Not just with yourself, but with Jesus.
Before you grind your teeth at me, or stomp out of here mad, how about getting real. Not just with yourself, but with Jesus.
Before you grind your teeth at me, or stomp out of here mad, how about getting real. Not just with yourself, but with Jesus.
Because if this is hitting you on some level like it is hitting me…it’s for you. It’s for… “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and it’s for training in righteousness” ()
How about instead of grinding your teeth, and being angry, take a deep breath and realize that God is trying to connect with you…do miss this refining moment by being in the flesh. Let the Holy Spirit squeeze and press into this rebellion, so that you can stop pretending you are strong enough and cry out to Jesus!
Why am I pretending? Why am I going through the motions? What’s keeping me from repenting of my sins?
How about we fall on our faces and beg our God for mercy (for He is rich in mercy), and we do it with the same intensity that we run from picking up our cross daily to avoid following Him?
I mean what if we actually responded in a posture of repentance and acceptance that we are jacked-up and in need of a rescue?
Jesus get’s it, He does, His heart breaks that we don’t.
Jesus, what has happened to us? Why are we abandoning you too?
Why do we seek treasures buried in the sin soaked land of this world? Jesus, why do we raise up golden calves (our man made idols and toys)?
Why do we worship ourselves, why is it so much about our preferences instead of yours? Why Lord, do we worship our kids, why do we worship our money; our church buildings, and our stuff? They are but relics that will one day be forgotten and be made to dust.
Why don’t we see You (Jesus) on the cross in our place?
Because we can’t get out of our own way…and into His. Lord help us.
Paul points us to our hope. He tells us of how we should regard the temporary of this world vs. the eternal of the next. I’m going to share it conversationally at the beginning and then quote directly the Scripture:

,

2 Corinthians 5:1–16 The Message
1 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not hand-made—2 and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! 5 The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. 6 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. 7 It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. 8 Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. 9 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 10 Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. 11 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. 12 We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. 13 If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15 He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.
2 Corinthians 5 The Message
1 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not hand-made—2 and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! 5 The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. 6 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. 7 It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. 8 Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. 9 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 10 Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. 11 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. 12 We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. 13 If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15 He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17 Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. 20 We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. 21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:1–11 ESV
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
2 Corinthians 5 ESV
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 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. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Cor 5:17-
2 Corinthians 5:19–21 ESV
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. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor
We know what Stephen would say...
We know what Stephen would say...
What would Jesus say to us? What would he say to God on your behalf?
Luke 23:34 ESV
34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Luke 23:34 ESV
34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Now that you do know, instead of grinding your teeth, might I suggest opening your eyes.
I point you to the cross, where Jesus died once for sin and where grace abounds for even those of us who know Him and would go prodigal.
I point you to the cross, where Jesus died once for sin and where grace abounds for even those of us who know Him and would go prodigal.
Luke 23:
In Paul’s words embedded in Scripture for those who have fallen short, he shows us who will reign eternal as king through the repentance of sin.
Sin that was bought at the high price of Christ’s blood for us.
How can we trust in this truth whether backslider, prodigal, or skeptic?
2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

Let’s pray

As Joe prays the band comes up...

Worship

3 songs (If I go long, cut a song)

Offering Moment
worship instrumental
Prayer for Offering (specifically)
Reflective Song
Sending Out (Joe)
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