Summer Series 2015 – Foundation Stones
June 28 – Worship
The apostle Peter uses the metaphor of stones when he writes in his first epistle. “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet 2:4-5 ESV) Both Peter and Paul indicate that the cornerstone of this spiritual house is Christ Jesus and as we are joined with Christ the whole structure becomes a “holy temple in the Lord, ……”a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:21,22 ESV)
Picking up on the metaphors of foundations stones and temple we are going to explore important foundation stones for our life in Christ so that we can grow into a dwelling place for God. The topics we will consider are foundational, not just for our individual lives, but also for the corporate life of the church. Many of these ideas have been foundational in the history of PBCC and continue to be the guiding principles for how we function as a local gathering of God’s people. We pray that the teachings this summer will be helpful for people newer to our church, great reminders for those who have been here a while, and encouragements for all of us to keep on the right track so that together we can “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Brian is going to kick off the series this Sunday on the topic of worship. The reason we gather on Sunday mornings is to worship God. What motivates you to come to church? How do you walk into church? How do you walk out of church? Like two weeks ago the service will include segments of teaching interleaved with music, so we encourage you to come on time, ready to worship God and to share our life in Christ.
July 5 – God’s Empowering Spirit
The apostle Paul writes to the Galatians that “God sent forth his Son ….. that we might receive adoption as sons” and “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Gal. 4:4-6) The coming of Christ and the Spirit changed everything. The age of the future broke into the present. The promised Holy Spirit is not only a guarantee of the future but allows those in Christ to live in the age to come now. The new covenant in Christ and the Spirit replaces the old covenant based on the Law. The Spirit is both the presence of God and the power of God among his new covenant people. The Spirit writes the law on the heart, produces the fruit of holiness in the lives of believers, and transforms us into Christ-likeness. The Spirit creates the one body of Christ and gives us unity and diversity. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and even prays to the Father when we do not know how to pray. The call for the church is to walk in the Spirit and foster the life of the Spirit both individually and corporately.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: 2 Cor. 2:12 – 3:18; Gal. 5:16 – 25; Rom. 8:1-11; 26 – 30
July 12 – Authentic Community
God has chosen us through Christ to be a part of his family, his people. He never intended us to be individuals on a spiritual journey but rather a part of something much bigger than ourselves. The church is designed to be a community with a mandate for “one another.” An authentic, healthy church community is vital for our spiritual growth and the mission of God to the world. But for this to happen we must be aware of the obstacles we face and live intentionally towards others. This week will consider the case for Christian community and what God might be calling us to at PBCC.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Rom. 12:1-21; John 13.34-35; 15:12-17; Gal. 5:13 – 26; Rom. 4:1-16
July 19 – Living In Union With Christ
“The Christian life is far more than having devotions, giving money, participating in ministry, knowing doctrine, or having religious feelings during worship. I can do all of these things without Christ at the center of my life! For Paul, the heart of Christianity is remaining faithful to Christ in a world where many other ‘lovers’ seek my affection.” (Tim Lane) We can do many things on our own, but it will lack the vitality and eternal quality of a life deeply rooted in and dependent on Jesus. This week we welcome Jaimeson Stockhaus as our guest, who will be speaking to us about living in union with Christ and depending on the life of Christ flowing through us. As many of you know, Jaimeson grew up at PBCC, went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is now a PBCC missionary serving with RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) on the campus of UC Santa Barbara.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on John 15:1-11
July 26 – Authentic Discipleship
God has chosen us through Christ to follow him into a whole new form and way of living. He intended two things for us: (1) to continue to go deeper in belonging, belief and behavior such that we are radically transformed along with the world around us, and (2) to help others go deeper such that they are transformed as well. This is what it means to be an authentic disciple: to be committed to being a disciple and committed to make disciples. This week will consider the case for Christian discipleship and what God might be calling us to at PBCC.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Matthew 4:17-20; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31-32; John 13:31-35; John 15:1-8; Col 1:24-29
August 2 – Ministry of the Saints
God has generously and graciously gifted each of us, as followers of Christ, with spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ. He has empowered each and every member of His church, not just pastors, to express His love in very powerful, unique, and beautiful ways. No one is left out. This is how the body of Christ grows strong and mature. This week we will consider God’s amazing design for His church. We will reflect on how we are all, as the body of Christ, invited and gifted to be an integral part of God’s mission to reach out to the world with truth and love.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Ephesians 4, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and 1 Peter 4.
August 9 – It’s About Life
The story of the Bible is the story of life. We read in Genesis “the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Gen 2:7 ESV) The apostle John writes of Jesus in his gospel, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:3-4 ESV) Later in John’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6 ESV) God is a life-creating, life-giving God.
We are delighted to have Rikk Watts with this Sunday through Tuesday to share with us the biblical story of a life-giving God. Rikk exudes and inspires life through his love of Scriptures, Jesus, and people. Many of you know that Rikk is Professor of New Testament at Regent College, Vancouver BC. He will present four talks about key aspects of the Biblical story. Here is the schedule:
1. What is Creation? God’s palace-temple.
2. Who are We? Being human means made in the image and likeness of God.
3. Who was Israel? God’s “first-born son” and the beginning of a new humanity.
4. Who is Jesus? God setting things right through his “only begotten Son.”
Talk 1 will be the message in the Sunday morning services, August 9.
Talks 2-4 were Sunday-Tuesday evenings, August 9-11, 7:00-9:00 (90 minute talk followed by Q&A)
August 16 – Love, Grace and Marriage
we live in a culture today that is hard on marriage and as a result we see more and more couples struggling. Young people are waiting longer to get married and are often held back by fear of commitment. Divorce is prevalent among believers and non-believers alike. This week we will explore the realities and goals for marriage as we seek to live out God’s design as reflected in the relationship between Christ and the church. No how-tos or easy answers, just plain talk and hopefully some encouragement to live in truth and grace towards one another. For those who are not married, don’t think this week isn’t for you too. Many of the things we talk about might be helpful in your relationships as well.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Gen. 2:18-25; Hosea 2:19-20; Eph. 5:22-33; 1Pet. 3:1-7.
August 23 – Stewardship & Giving
Stewardship and Giving – We live in a me-centered culture today where getting is often prioritized over giving. But, this is antithetical to the Christian faith. Followers of Jesus are invited to live to give, after all he gave his life away for us. Our invitation is summarized in the statement: blessed to be a blessing. God has generously blessed us in many incredible ways, and we are invited to generously bless others in response. As you can see, this topic is not simply about money. This is about a lifestyle of generosity; living with a generous heart in all areas of life: time, treasures, talents and temple (body).
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Matt 20:1-16, Luke 10:25-37, Matthew 6:19-21, Col 3:23-24, Matt 25:14-30, 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Tim 6:17-19
August 30 – Ministry Fair
This is the one day when you can peruse all of the PBCC ministries and see where you can get connected!
There are new ministry opportunities available since our last Fair. You are God’s people being prepared for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Don’t miss this opportunity to get plugged in and use your gifting so that we all mature and attain to the fullness of Christ!
To give ample time for you to peruse the Ministry Fair tables, our Sunday morning service will only run for 30 minutes (8:30am-9am & 10:30am-11am), so make sure to arrive on-time. Andy will be preaching on Loving Each Other Deeply.
Passages for reflection include 1 John 3 & 4; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4
September 6 – Spiritual Practices
One of the foundations for our spiritual life are spiritual practices. Spending time with God, keeping company with Jesus is essential to growth and transformation. This Sunday we will explore the many spiritual practices that can help make us more attentive and open to God whether we are alone or with others. But instead of just talking about spiritual practices we will have space in the service to actually do some practices, including communion. So, please come early or on time, prepared to worship and meet with God. Also you might want to bring a journal to jot down thoughts during our time together.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: Jeremiah 17:5-8; Ps. 1; Matt. 11:28-30; John 15:1-11.
September 13 – Servant Leadership
We continue our Summer Series this coming Sunday with a look at what it means to be a leader who serves.
In preparation for our worship this Sunday you might read and reflect on these passages: John 13:1-20; Philippians 2:1-12