Sunday, May 24, 2020

Diligently Preserving the Unity of the Spirit - Nathan Rages

"with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:2-3

1 The divine origin of the unity.

2 The human responsibility for the unity.

3 The character qualities necessary to preserve the unity.

a) Humility

b) Gentleness

c) Patience

d) Tolerance

e) Love

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Midweek encouragement: God Isn't Limited by Your Smallness - Nathan Rages

Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”  1Sam. 14:6

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Walk Worthy of Your Calling - Nathan Rages

Eph. 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.

This verse introduces the *second half* of the book of Ephesians. Chapters 1-3 are mostly doctrinal teaching while chapters 4-6 are mostly practical living topics.  Accordingly, we note seven common pitfalls in Christians' pursuit of personal holiness:

1 Undermining the Gospel by thinking wrongly about holiness.

2 Failing to strive vigorously for personal holiness.

3 Emphasizing holiness in one area while ignoring obvious sin in other areas.

4 Making too much of matters that are not clear in Scripture.

5 Proudly comparing yourself to others.

6 Despairing over slow growth in a certain area.

7 Being content with mere words or feelings rather than long-term change.

Then we use this verse to summarize the New Covenant process of growing in personal holiness:

Step 1: Understand who you are now in Christ, your glorious position, privileges and identity.

Step 2: Act like the person that you already are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Midweek encouragement: Justified, O Blessed Thought! - Nathan Rages

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."  Rom 5:1-2

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Power Beyond All that We Ask or Think - Nathan Rages

Eph 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

This famous doxology about God's power breaks down into three parts:

1 The vastness of God's power. “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”

2 The workplace of God's power.  “according to the power that works within us”

3 The glory resulting from God’s power.  “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Midweek encouragement: O Valiant Warrior! - Nathan Rages

Judges 6:12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him [Gideon] and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Midweek encouragement: God has Promised to Guide You - Nathan Rages

Filled up to All the Fullness of God - Nathan Rages

Sermon is about the climactic final request in Paul's prayer at the end of Ephesians chapter 3, "to be filled up to all the fullness of God".  There's nothing bigger or bolder in the whole Bible about Christian experience than these words!  But what do they mean exactly?

Three things this does *not* mean:

1 This is not something that only happens in heaven.

2 This is not about God giving us certain blessings or spiritual gifts.

3 This does not mean we "become God" in some way.

Four concepts this *does* point us toward:

1 Union.

2 Likeness.

3 Control.

4 Satisfaction.