Celebration Sunday: For Small Groups.

This Sunday was Celebration Sunday.  We celebrated one another and honored people’s contributions to our church. 

This is fun to do.  More importantly this is a biblical thing to do.  The apostle Paul writes:  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever been celebrated and honored by the church?  How did it make you feel?
  2. Have you ever celebrated and honored another in the church?  How did it make you feel?

Application Question:

  1. Who will you celebrate and honor this week? (And tell them how much you appreciate what they do!)

This Week at St. Paul’s!

Hi Everyone! So a few things are happening at St. Paul’s this week: Check it out!

  • Membership Meeting: This Wednesday (May 2nd) we are having our next Membership Meeting in the chapel at 7PM. We’ll be voting on our bylaws, and we’ll also be discussing our upcoming budget. All are welcome!
  • Panama Trip this Summer: If you’re interested in going on a Missions Trip this summer to Panama, contact Bob Jeram.
  • Paul and Karen Hernandez’s Graduation Party: Paul and Karen are going to be in town for their PhD graduation, and they will be having a graduation party in the St. Paul’s cafe this Friday (May 4th) at 6PM. Come celebrate!

That’s that! Hope you all have a great week, and we’ll see you on Sunday! 


He is Risen: Jesus vs. Satan

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In Sunday’s message we looked at Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in Galilee.  Jesus says to them:  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  This is quite a statement.  And it’s remarkable to contrast this statement of Jesus with a statement Satan makes earlier in the Gospel.

Earlier in the gospel, when Satan tempts Jesus, they have the following exchange:

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Matthew 4:8-11. 

So here’s the question:  Is Satan’s offer to Jesus real?  Did Satan really have the authority over the kingdoms of this world to give to Jesus?  Many commentators are divided on this issue.  Some think it’s a fair offer; others think it’s a bluff. 

I’m inclined to believe Satan did have this authority. In John’s gospel, Jesus repeatedly calls Satan the ruler of this world.  Moreover, if Satan is bluffing, Jesus doesn’t call it.  Jesus does not say:  You don’t have this authority. Jesus says:  I’m not going to worship you.

So let’s for a moment assume Satan’s offer was real.  Let’s assume Satan did have authority over the kingdoms of this world.  Let’s assume Satan could make this offer in good faith.

But that was then.  Jesus, after his resurrection, claims that all authority now belongs to him.  Or conversely, no authority belongs to Satan.  This would agree with many biblical authors who claim that Jesus decisively triumphed over Satan through his death and resurrection.

There’s a saying:  Give the devil his due.  But maybe we ought to say:  Give Jesus his due. 

All authority over the kingdoms of this world belongs to Jesus.  Satan may have had this authority. But he does so no longer. This world belongs to Jesus.  Period.  Let’s give Jesus his due.  

 


He is Risen! Christ and His Disciples Meet: For Small Groups

Sermon Recap

The Risen Christ and his disciples meet in Galilee.  In Matthew’s gospel, this is the first time they’ve seen each other since the garden. This meeting is a bit awkward for the disciples. And seeing Jesus prompts the disciples to both worship and doubt Jesus. Jesus responds to these doubts by re-affirming his relational commitment to them and re-affirming his working partnership with them. And through these worshipping/doubting disciples the Great Commission is fulfilled. It’s the same for us today.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you ever find yourself both worshipping and doubting Jesus at the same time?
  2. If so, what specifically do you doubt?
    1. Is Jesus real?
    2. Will Jesus accept me?
    3. Do I really know Jesus at all?
    4. Other?
  3. If you believe Jesus accepts and commissions these worshipping/doubting disciples, do you also believe Jesus accepts and commissions you?

 


He is Risen: Who is Jesus?

In Sunday’s message we looked at the meeting between the Risen Christ and his disciples.  The disciples were a bit confused as to who exactly Jesus was. What man can rise from the dead? 

Who is Jesus?  It’s the most important question we can ask. And the Bible has some answers to this question. Below are four OT prophecies that Jesus fulfills.

Openbible

Jesus is The Prophet Like Moses: The Teacher of God’s people.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him…I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.  If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19

Jesus is The King Like David: The Ruler of God’s people.

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.

2 Samuel 7:16

Jesus is The Servant of the Lord: The Healer of God’s people

 Surely he took up our infirmities 
   and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
   smitten by him, and afflicted. 
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
   he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
   and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5

Jesus is The Son of Man:  The King of the Cosmos

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. 

Daniel 7:13-14