1 Corinthians 1.18-31 Follow Up October 9, 2017

On Sunday we looked at 1 Corinthians 1.18-31. In this passage Paul defends his ministry of simply preaching the message of the cross even though the nature of this ministry is foolish and offensive to the world. The Jews of Paul’s day thought the preaching of the cross needed more signs attached to it, and the sign of Jesus on the cross was offensive to them. The Greek’s, on the other hand, wanted wisdom and to know how to succeed at life. The cross was foolish to them because Jesus hardly looked like a wise and successful person as he hung on the cross.

If the cross is so offensive to the world, why did God accomplish his saving purpose this way? Why not choose a way that looks better to the world? Paul gives us 3 reasons why God uses the message of the cross even though it is foolish to the world:

  1. It reveals the nature of wisdom. The cross shows us how foolish the wisdom of the world is, and how wise God is.
  2. It rules out an elitist church. We are saved by this humble message. We, who are not nobility or geniuses were saved by grace. If it weren’t for the message of the cross, we would be lost.
  3. It reserves glory for God alone. Ultimately, the cross does not allow us to boast in ourselves because we could do nothing to save ourselves.

If you need the discussion questions from Sunday’s bulletin, they are posted here: 1 Cor. 1.18-31 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 1.4-17 Follow Up October 2, 2017

In 1 Cor. 1.4-17 Paul begins to deal with the the lack of unity in the church of Corinth. The church was experiencing divisions in numerous ways. For example, groups in the church were picking their favorite personalities (Paul, Apollos, Peter, or even Jesus) and dividing with the church over their preferences for the personalities or styles of these leaders. The Corinthians illustrate the tendency we all have to focus on external things in our leaders rather than the Gospel message that they bring, and that unites us in Christ.

On Sunday we looked at 2 things Paul does to encourage unity in the church of Corinth:

  1. He models unity. Paul does this by thanking the Lord for who the Corinthians are in Christ. If we want to experience unity we also need to model unity ourselves by thanking the Lord for the church, and telling our brothers and sisters in the Lord how thankful we are for them.
  2. He commands unity. Paul especially does this in verse 10 which will be a key verse for the book of 1 Corinthians.

Here are some discussion questions from the bulletin: 1 Cor. 1.4-17 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 1.1-3 Follow Up September 25, 2017

This last Sunday we started a new series on the book of 1 Corinthians. We took some time to study Paul’s greeting to the church in the city of Corinth. We learned a bit of background about Corinth and saw that there are a number of similarities with our modern day culture in Souther California!

Paul spends most of his time in this greeting reminding the Corinthians (and us) who we are in Christ. Paul wants to remind them of their identity before he tells them how to live. The two things Paul wants the Corinthians to remember are:

  1. To whom they belong. They belong to Christ as a holy people.
  2. With whom they walk. They walk with the church that is comprised of all those who call on the name of the Lord.

These two identities will surface again and again in the book of 1 Corinthians as Paul addresses various specific issues that the Corinthians were struggling with, and that we often struggle with as well.

Here are some discussion questions that were in the bulletin on Sunday: 1 Cor. 1.1-3 Notes.

I am excited to learn from this book together as a church.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

Matthew 7.28-29 Follow Up September 18, 2017

This last Sunday we finished our series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Our journey through this sermon has been convicting, encouraging, and awe-inspiring. I pray that God has used this series in your life.

On Sunday we looked at how the crowds reacted to Jesus’ sermon in 7.28-29. They reacted with amazement at Jesus’ authority that was strikingly different than the authority of other speakers and teachers they had heard. We reviewed some of the Sermon on the Mount in order to see the profound claims of authority that Jesus made. We also saw that simply being amazed at Jesus’ authority is not the response he calls for. We are called to obey and follow Jesus, for his authority is gracious and loving.

We made 2 main points on how to respond to the Sermon on the Mount:

  1. Recognize Jesus’ authority.
  2. Respond with more than astonishment.

The Sermon on the Mount ends by focusing on who Jesus is and the authority that he has. We cannot get to the lofty ethics found within this sermon without going through Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Here are the discussion questions from Sunday’s bulletin: Matt. 7.28-29 Notes.

Next Sunday we will begin a series on the book of 1 Corinthians!

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

Matthew 7.12-27 Follow Up September 11, 2017

On Sunday we looked at Jesus’ conclusion to the Sermon on the Mt. in Matthew 7.12-27. Jesus called us to choose to follow Christ, and to examine our lives to make sure that we really are following Jesus. We ultimately have 2 choices in life: the way of Jesus, or the way of the world. Jesus explained these stark alternatives by using 4 illustrations that we examined on Sunday:

  1. 2 Ways.
  2. 2 Trees.
  3. 2 Claims.
  4. 2 Houses.

Through these illustrations Jesus encourages us when the road is hard, as he reminds us that we should expect it to be difficult. And for those who are not yet following Jesus, these illustrations cry out for us to choose this day whom we will serve! May God give us the grace to follow our Lord, Jesus!

Here are the discussion questions from Sunday’s bulletin: Matt. 7.12-27 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan