Thursday, July 21, 2016

Anticipating and Responding to God's Work

     Today, I want to highlight 3 practices of worship often celebrated in our church. These embody the "anticipation and response" to God's actual working in our lives. 

God's work in salvation? God's pursuit of us in salvation requires appropriate responses based on God’s actual working and not our artificial timelines. He pursuit of saving us began before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4), through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus on the cross (1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18, and Isaiah 53:5), and He's still pursuing us by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:13). 

Some helpful Scripture references:   
   Origin of law found in Lev. 12, Dedication of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:22-24), Dedication of Jesus (Luke 2:22-35)

- Dedication is rooted in Judaism.
- Dedication is not commanded in Scripture, but it is modeled.

   1. Declaration of gratitude
   2. Acknowledgement that parenting is a stewardship
   3. Commitment to raise the child in the Christian faith
   4. Pleading of God for eventual adoption into His Family
   5. Petition for the Church body for help

Some helpful Scripture references:   
   Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21, Ephesians 4, and many others!!!

- Baptism is commanded in Scripture.
Baptism does not bring salvation - rather it's a response to salvation.
 - Requirement for baptism: salvation through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

   1. Baptism is an unmistakable act that marks a person as a follower of Jesus.
   2. Baptism declares "My new FATHER has given me a new life, identity, priorities, and mission." 
   3. Baptism is modeled as the first act of obedience in response to God's grace.
   4. Baptism marks our identity and union with Christ.
   5. Baptism symbolizes a new internal reality.

Some helpful Scripture references:   
  Matthew 26:20-28, Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22:14-22, John 13:21-30, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

- Communion was initiated by Jesus.
 - Communion is commanded in Scripture.
- Communion does not bring salvation.
 - Requirement for participation: salvation through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

   1. Communion serves as a reminder of Christ's death and resurrection on our behalf.
   2. Communion is a reminder that we've been set free from the bondage of sin and death.
   3. Communion is a celebration of the new life and family we have in Christ.
   4. Communion marks the new covenant of our unity with Christ and His Church
   5. Communion is meant to anticipate Christ's return.

Here's a link a message I preached on this:
"Anticipating & Responding to God's Work"