03 | Glorious Sex

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-20

There's no hotter topic than sex and sexuality, and nothing in human experience has the unique ability to be simultaneously profoundly beautiful and powerfully destructive in our lives. How can we account for both the heights of intimacy experienced in sexual union and the depths of brokenness experienced through sexual abuse, confusion, and shame? Our culture has no answer, but the bible does: God made the body good, and his design was that sex would create an indestructible bond between husband and wife. And though we've misused and abused his good gift, the fact remains that our bodies belong to our Creator and he has a good purpose for them. In the gospel, God redeems the body and restores sex to its rightful purpose: worship!

February 17, 2019 | Steve Hart


 

02 | Collisions in Community

 

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

Through Jesus, we have been adopted into God’s family. And, like in any family, it is up to the parents to establish the culture of their home. Paul corrects the Corinthian church like a father shapes his family. He wants them to understand who they are (Identity), what the rules are (Morals), and how they are to interact with the world (Ethics). Paul doesn’t ignore the reality that all people, families and communities experience conflict. In these verses, he passionately warns the church that way they handle conflict matters. It matters for those in the family, and those who are outside looking in.

February 10, 2019 | Gabe Shippam


 

01 | The Goodness of Correction

 

1 Corinthians 5:1-13

A Strong Church is a family on mission in the world. Like any strong family, the core convictions of the family create a certain kind of culture or way of being together - an ecosystem of sorts. The church is founded on the gospel - the gracious work of God to rescue a people to himself through Jesus - and must learn to live in line with that good news and grand mission. In chapter 5, Paul brings correction and discipline to the Corinthians, so they might learn to live together in sincerity and truth.

February 3, 2019 | Steve Hart


 

04 | Prayer

 

2 Peter 1:3-11

While we cannot bring real change in our lives through direct effort, we can participate with the God by engaging in simple, regular practices that help us see the gospel clearly and invite the Spirit to do his work in us. As we wrap up our series, we’re summing up what we’ve learned this month and moving toward engaging in key habits of grace that can propel a lifestyle of growth and maturity.

January 27, 2019 | Steve Hart


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

Read 2 Peter 1:­3-11

  1. What indicative (statement of fact or promise) in this text is most striking to you? What does Peter want us to know about God, what he’s done, and who we are in Christ

  2. What are the imperatives (instructions or commands) in the text? What is Peter urging us toward?

  3. When you think of godliness, what image comes to mind? How does Peter’s description in v.5-7 shift your understanding? If godliness equals becoming like Jesus, what is Peter telling us in v.3 is possible in our lives?

  4. Steve mentions 3 pieces to a lifestyle of growth and change: Vision, Intention, and Means. Unpack each one, and discuss their importance.

  5. What habits of grace are you currently engaged in? Are there specific habits you’d like to add into your life in this season? How might these habits position you for the work God wants to do in you?

 

03 | Word

 

2 Peter 1:3-11

Real growth and change begin with God's call to maturity, and Peter gives one description (among many in the Scriptures) of the kind of godliness that ought to increasingly characterize our lives. He also tells us that real growth is simply the fruit of all we have in Jesus getting worked more deeply into our hearts and minds, undermining our unbelief, fears, pride, brokenness, and sin. In his grace, God has supplied all we need for life and godliness in Jesus, and our role is to "make every effort" to mature by continuously placing ourselves in position to receive that grace. Throughout the Scriptures, and throughout history, the church has recognized a handful of simple practices that help us stay in the stream of grace. What are the habits of grace? And how can we engage them today?

January 20, 2019 | Steve Hart


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

Read 2 Peter 1:­3-11

  1. In light of what we’ve been learning this month, what does Peter mean that we have been given all we need for life and godliness? What has God provided in the gospel?

  2. What did Irenaeus mean when he said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” What does God want to do in our lives? What is the Bible's vision of “godliness?”

  3. What is a “habit of grace,” and what role do they play in the Christian life? What is your experience with them?

  4. As you think about how God is working to mature and deepen you, are there any specific practices you think might be helpful to engage? How might you do that with the support of your community?

  5. Consider celebrating communion with your community. Before you do, take some time to remind one another of what Jesus has done for us and given to us. What aspect of the gospel is really good news for you in your areas of struggle?

 

02 | Life

 

2 Peter 1:3-11

Real growth and change begins with a VISION of who God wants to make us by his grace. Peter tells us we've been given everything for a lifestyle of godliness - that we can actually share in the life of God, growing in true goodness, steadiness, affection, and love. Once we have a vision, we need INTENTION, a sturdy commitment to do all we can to move toward maturity. This begins with an ongoing willingness to really face ourselves and see what needs to change, and then requires our whole-hearted effort toward that change ("make every effort," Peter says). But what kind of effort is needed for real change? What is Peter actually calling us to do? Since we're not just digging deeper and trying harder, what does grace-based effort really look like?

January 13, 2019 | Steve Hart


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

Read 2 Peter 1:1-­11

  1. Consider Peter’s list in v.5­-7. What kind of person is Peter describing? What is his vision of maturity?

  2. Peter gives 3 reasons why we should “make every effort” to grow into maturity (v.8, v.10, and v.11). What are his reasons? Why do they matter?

  3. In v.9, Peter tells us the kind of effort we need to make in order to grow. What is he saying about the areas of unfruitfulness or ineffectiveness in our lives? How is his answer different from what you might expect?

  4. Peter puts his process in the negative (“whoever lacks...”). How might you rephrase it in the positive? In other words, what leads to real growth and change?

  5. As you consider some areas the Spirit is working to grow and mature you, what aspects of who Jesus is and has done really need to get worked in? How might you do that?

 

01 | Transformation

 

2 Peter 1:3-11

If we’re honest, there are parts of us we simply don’t like. We have patterns of thought, ways of relating, or habitual behaviors that plague us. For most of us, that means we spend a lot of energy hiding our bad stuff and pretending we’re further along than we really are. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a better way - a way that leads to real change - and it is simpler than you might imagine. This month, we're digging into 2 Peter 1.3-11 and looking at how real change takes place.

January 6, 2019 | Steve Hart


QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. This month, we're asking you to consider areas of struggle and weakness relationally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. Where are you seeing your need for growth and change?

  2. What does the promise of 2 Peter 1.3 imply? Why might Peter be starting his letter with these reminders?

  3. According to the sermon, one of the biggest temptations in life is toward "moral reformation" (trying hard to change yourself by your own strength). What makes that kind of change ultimately unhelpful? Why is it such a temptation?

  4. The message ended with 3 simple "steps" to engage growth in a grace-based and Spirit-dependent way. What can you begin to put into practice today?

 

04 | Joy

 

John 16:16-24

The final gift of Advent is joy, and this week we're looking at Jesus' promise to give a fullness of joy that can never be taken away (John 16.22). Like the other gifts of Advent, joy is something required for human flourishing but often hard to secure. As we walk through life, sorrows seem to multiply. How can we receive life with full joy in the face of life's sorrows?

December 23, 2018 | Steve Hart