There was a strong relationship between the Philippian church and the apostle Paul. In this passage, he speaks from his heart to them and reveals that the bond between them is rooted in the gospel of Jesus. In his final sermon at EMBC, Pastor Mitch draws upon Paul’s words to address the church. Likewise, their relationship has been rooted in the soil of the gospel. Using Paul’s five statements in this passage, he reminds the church at East Madison that God will be faithful to finish the work he has begun.
Before we move on to Jonah and the fish, there’s an important lesson for us yet to be learned. The sailors take up a significant portion of chapter one. Their response to the storm and Jonah is very instructive. The lessons there will help us to ask questions today like, “What do the people around me believe about God?” and “How do they respond to evil?”
Jonah is a little book with a big lesson. It teaches us the truth that God’s people aren’t just supposed to know the truth; they’re expected to share it with those who don’t. In this first chapter, we’re introduced to Jonah, a prophet who rejected God’s calling. His rejection was rooted not in fear, but in a disdain for the people he was called to preach to.
Luke 5:33-39; Matthew 6:16-17
Last week we studied the why of fasting. This week we get more specific and try to understand how and what fasting looks like in our lives.
People fast for many different reasons, such as health, dieting, or religion. Why do Christians fast? That’s a question that was posed to Jesus when some people asked, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” His answer gets to the biblical purpose for fasting. In this sermon, we try to understand what Jesus says about fasting and the role it serves in our communion with God.
Too often, we struggle with prayer because we misunderstand the nature of prayer. Prayer isn’t a duty to be performed. Instead, it is communion with God. In this sermon, we’ll see that our prayer life can be transformed when we use it to relate to God as our heavenly Father.
In this sermon, we continue to understand how to experience fellowship with God through his word. Last time, we looked at the disciplines of hearing and reading God’s word. Now, we’ll turn our attention to memorizing Scripture and biblical meditation. Both are valuable means for feeding our souls on God’s written word.
God designed our souls to function in communion with himself. Just as a car needs gas, or the body needs food, so do our souls need God. In this series, we’ll be studying three ways to experience communion with God: through his word, through prayer, and through fasting. In this first sermon, we look at our soul’s great need for God’s word.
Our study of Hebrews concludes with a look at the underlying theme behind the book: enduring persecution. The letter contains some of the richest teachings about Christ in the Bible, yet it isn’t intended only to be a theological treatise. It’s meant to encourage those who were undergoing persecution. Just as Jesus suffered “outside the camp,” they are encouraged to follow him who sacrificed his life for theirs.
After a letter that has detailed the work of Christ, the writer of Hebrews now turns to explain the implications for the gospel and church leadership. In this passage, he describes what church leadership is and the proper relationships between pastors and the church.