09-Jan-16 | 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 | Partnership with God's Fellow Servants | Ptr. Narry Santos
PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD’S FELLOW SERVANTS
We are doing the January series on “Partnering with God’s Fellow Workers in Unity” (Studies in 1 Corinthians 1 & 3). As we saw last week, disunity was one problem of the Corinthian Christians (1 Cor. 1:10-17). To continue addressing this problem, Paul presents a God-focused & godly perspective about partnership in the ministry among God’s people. Using 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, what must be our mindset in partnering as God’s fellow workers?
- GOD ASSIGNS MINISTRY TO HIS SERVANTS (3:5)
The context shows more evidence of division (3:3-4). To unify the people’s divided & worldly thinking, Paul de-emphasizes what he & Apollos do (“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?” 3:5a) & emphasizes that they are mere servants (3:5b) engaged in ministry (see 2:4-5). They needed to focus on God, who assigns specific ministries to each person (3:5c). What is important is not the one who ministers but the giver of the minister & ministry.
- GOD CAUSES THE GROWTH (3:6-7)
Paul uses agricultural language to specify the ministry he & Apollos are assigned by God to do: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it” (3:6a). Paul started new churches as a missionary in places where the gospel was not present; Apollos did the teaching of new believers in the churches that Paul planted. The planter or waterer is not the important person (3:7a). The important one is God, who makes things grow (3:6b, 7b).
III. GOD OWNS ALL THE WORK (3:8-9)
In fairness, God’s workers are a team (“they work as a team” [3:8a, NEB]) & work for 1 purpose (“on the same level”; see Eph. 4:12-13 for purpose of maturity toward Christlikeness) & will be rewarded for their labour (3:8b; see 4:5; 9:24-25). But they are not the important ones but the one who owns them as “God’s fellow workers” (they belong to God; 3:9a), along with all the church as “God’s field, God’s building” (3:9b).
09-Jan-22 | 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 | Take Part In Christ or Be Torn Apart | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
TAKE PART IN CHRIST OR BE TORN APART
Last Sunday’s sermon set the stage for what would be our focus for 2022 – “Partnering for Preparedness and Progress”. We don’t know what God has in store, but we know we need to be ready. Part of being ready is to make sure that we are partnering together to overcome potential barriers for progress in the work of God’s kingdom by striving for unity.
Jesus Christ and His gospel are already offensive to the world of those who don’t believe. In this same chapter that we’re in right at the very verse after our passage, Paul would say that, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Part of what made the message of Christ’s cross foolish to the world is when it sees the family of God, the church – local and universal – divided against itself. The disunity in the church, amongst other things, is one of the things that puts people off and puts people out of church and keeps them out of it too. Satan has been sowing discord within the family of God because he knows that a church divided within will be powerless in preaching the gospel effectively.
So, let’s learn impactful biblical truths that will put us on and forge the path of our unity in the family of God.
- In Christ’s good name, pursue ____________ (vv. 10-12)
- By Christ’s grace, partner in ____________ (vv. 13-16)
- For Christ’s gospel, preach in ____________ (v. 17)
- Application / Celebration / Inspiration
02-Jan-22 | Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 Partnering with God and others | Ptr. Narry Santos
PARTNERING WITH GOD AND OTHERS
CELEBRATING CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS WITH DIFFERENT EYES (STUDIES IN LUKE 1-2)
05-Dec-21 | Luke 1:46-55 Celebrating Christ this Christmas Using Mary's Eyes | Ptr. Narry Santos
CELEBRATING CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS USING MARY’S EYES
This Sunday, we start our December series on “Celebrating Christ This Christmas with Different Eyes” (Studies in Luke 1-2). Christ’s first coming (or incarnation) yields praise from those who knew about Jesus’ birth. We will look at praise songs from 3 biblical characters in the Gospel of Luke: (1) Mary; (2) Zechariah; & (3) the angels who showed up before the shepherds. In the birth narrative in Luke’s Gospel, these characters end up bursting in worship & extolling God’s character. Using Mary’s eyes and her praise song, what can we learn about God’s character in Jesus’ birth story, so we may also burst in praise to God?
1. GOD’S MERCY LIFTS UP THE HUMBLE (1:46-50, 51b)
When Mary discovered the meaning of angel Gabriel’s announcement of virgin birth, she realized how “blessed” (i.e., a recipient of favour & grace) she was (1:48b; cf. vv. 42, 45). As a result, she worshipped God personally (1:46; cf. v. 64) through the Magnificat (i.e., “My soul magnifies the Lord” in Latin). In worship, Mary highlights God’s mercy (1:50, 54; cf. v. 58, 72, 78) – “loyal or steadfast love” expressed in faithful actions. God is merciful to those who are humble (vv. 48a, 52b) to fear Him (1:50a), reverentially respecting His person. Mary humbled herself before God (1:52b), as His servant (1:48a, 54; cf. v. 38), who recognized her lowly & humble state in the eyes of her “Lord,” “God,” and “Savior” (1:46a). She also recognized that God would lift her & her people from their humble state. For this Christmas, let’s remember God’s mercy & worship Him!
2. GOD’S MIGHT BRINGS DOWN THE PROUD (1:51-55)
Mary also saw the blessing of God to the nation of Israel (1:54a), recalling God’s covenant promises for His people (1:54b). God’s blessing came with His “mighty deeds” (or acts of power; 1:51) over rulers (1:52a), who imagined themselves as mighty (1:51b). God scattered them, brought these rulers from their thrones, & sent away the proud rich empty (v. 53b). As a result, God’s power moved). For this Christmas, let’s bow down before God in worship for His mighty works, who reminds us not to walk proudly in our own eyes!
12-Dec-21 | Luke 1:67-79 Celebrating Christ this Christmas Using Zecharia's Eyes | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
CELEBRATING CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS THROUGH ZECHARIAH’S EYES
The Christmas of the last two years is unprecedented. The traditions we hold dear and near to us will not be carried out in the same way as they were. But come to think of it, even and especially with those traditions, there has been an ongoing spiritual crisis around this time of the year as we dance around our frantic commitments and frenzied celebrations. We need fresh eyes to see what Christmas is all about and what better way to do that than to step into those whom God revealed Himself and His plans around the time Jesus was born into our world.
Zechariah was one of them. He saw what only the eyes of whom God has touched can see. He was oblivious and doubtful at first, but that’s the way with most of us. When God does something so wondrous and miraculous, it is hard for us to believe because we are accustomed to explaining and experiencing life in the ordinary. It’ll take God’s touch and His truth to open us to the power of the possibilities that can only be seen through the eyes of faith.
- We can ____________ God’s blessings by fixating on our ____________.
- We can ____________ God’s blessings by fixing on His ____________.
- We can ____________ towards God’s benefits by following His ____________.
- Application / Celebration / Inspiration
19-Dec-21 | Luke 2:8-20 Celebrating Christ this Christmas Using the Angel's Eyes | Ptr. Narry Santos
CELEBRATING CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS USING THE ANGELS’ EYES
Merry Christmas! In our December series on “Celebrating Christ This Christmas with Different Eyes” (Studies in Luke 1-2), we seek to view the praise songs of joy Mary, Zechariah, & the angels who appeared to the shepherds. The good news of Jesus’ birth brings great blessings. Using the angel’s good news & the angels’ praise song, what does this good news bring out?
I. GOOD NEWS GENERATES GLADNESS (2:8-10)
An angel of the Lord proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds (2:8-10). As a social class, these shepherds were despised, considered unreliable, & had a bad reputation. Though they were viewed as outcasts, God still chose them to be the privileged recipients of His good news. Imagine how joyful they must have been to be treated as a special class of people.
II. GOOD NEWS GIVES GOD GLORY (2:13-14, 20)
A heavenly host appeared before the shepherds, praising (2:13, 20), & glorifying (2:14, 20; see v. 9) God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, & on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (2:14). As a result, the shepherds praised & glorified God, after they saw the baby (2:20).
III. GOOD NEWS GRANTS GRACE (2:11-12, 15-18)
The shepherd’s joy multiplied when they heard the content of the good news (2:11). They would have realized the importance of the One who was born: (1) “Savior” (who would be their special deliverer; (2) “Christ” (who would be their expected Messiah); & (3) “Lord” (who would be their Master or Yahweh [the One Who Is]). These terms of honour described the child who would give so much joy to them & all people who would welcome Him.
26-Dec-21 |Hebrews 12:1-3 Firmly Fixed Forward | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
FIRMLY FIXED FORWARD
Recent events should have put a lot of things in perspective – not just with this new development in this pandemic but with many other events that God is using to speak His wisdom and supply His grace. Today, we look at Hebrews 12:1-3 – a familiar passage that offers an even fresher perspective given the circumstances we’re all going through together.
It’s difficult to move ahead with the shadow of the past or even the present looming before you – past or present hurts, past or present disappointments, past or present regrets, past or present failures, anything that’s bearing down on our strength and sustenance to move on.
Our faith may need a fresh starting point. We need a fervent reminder of the proof and promises we have in Christ that moves us from “hoping so” to “knowing so”. This chapter in Hebrews comes right after the author of the book presents to us those who have been recognized with their walk of faith. But the real story is the reality of God that made them stand out in their journey of faith. And faith is that – a journey, an adventure, a way to firmly focus forward as we again seek for opportunities to witness and experience God at His best.
- Step forward to ____________ the course (v. 1)
- Settle to ____________ your faith in Christ (v. 2)
- Seek fast to follow by His ____________ (v. 3)
- Application / Celebration / Inspiration