Heb 1:1-2 We launch a new sermon series, on the Book of Hebrews, entitled Christ Before Us. In the past God spoke to Israel through the prophets, in words preserved as Israel’s Scriptures, what we know as the Old Testament. God has spoken again in his Son, who both fulfills and is better than those Scriptures. He became like us in our humanity, to offer his own self for our atonement, so that we might become like him. The book repeatedly places Jesus before us, urging us to look to Jesus, to see him, to consider him. It also shows how Jesus has gone before us, faithful to the end. He is our faithful forerunner, whom we are called to faithfully follow.
Ephesians 4:11-13 This week we conclude our 2-sermon series on how God intends for His church to function, as expressed in Paul’s letter to Ephesian church. Ephesians chapter 4 describes some foundational building blocks which contribute to a healthy and vibrant church, and we will focus on a few of these: “Devotion to God’s Word”, “Participating in God’s Work”, “Ministry of the Saints”. While many of us are familiar with these PBCC Core Values, it is good to review them in the context of Ephesians 4. We hope to see you this Sunday.
Ephesians 4:1-6 In the fractured and polarized world of the last three years, one would think that the church ought to be a stabilizing and unifying force for society. However, we’ve seen that the church itself was just as divided and polarized as the rest of society, if not more so. We know that disunity is not God’s plan for His family; He desires His children to live in harmony in the bond of love. One of the strongest exhortations for unity in the church comes from Ephesians chapter 4, a familiar passage from which PBCC derives several of our core family values. In a short 2-sermon series, we’ll retrace the lessons Apostle Paul taught to the believers in Ephesus and learn how God intends for the church to live in unity and to function as a living body.
James 5:13-20 The longing to be known and loved is universal, going back to the banishment of our first parents from Eden. But surely we live in an especially lonely time. Social media offers us innumerable opportunities for connection which have mostly resulted in deformed ‘communities’, and ‘friendships’ without content. The church, God’s plan for human belonging, is seen by many (too often with good reason) as unwelcoming and self-important. We turn to scripture for a better word. The final verses of James contain practical instruction on healthy church life – describing believers who pray with and for one another, are honest about sin and suffering, and sing praises from the heart.
Jeremiah is not a book we usually turn to for our Bible reading even though one of the verses we quote and hear quoted often is Jer. 29.11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” However, not only is Jeremiah filled with beautiful verse and amazing metaphors, but there is also much that we can learn from Jeremiah’s painful life and his hard message to the people of Judah. We will explore these two themes on Sunday.
Col 2:16-23 “No one,” said Jesus, “puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins — and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” You don’t have to be a winemaker to appreciate the wisdom of Christ’s reminder: Just as new wine can burst old wineskins, so the Way of Christ was never meant to be bound by tradition. Yet, there is a place for the old as much as there is for the new — both belong to Christ! Come join us this Sunday as we explore the right — and wrong — ways we often use tradition as travelers on the ever-new, ever-reforming, ever-reconstructing Way of Christ.
Col 2:6-8, 13-15 It is often suggested that in order to win in the various arenas of life — whether martial, social, or political — we must be willing to play by the same rules as our competitors, to stoop down to their level, to get into the mud with them. Christ achieved total victory over His enemies in a wholly different way — and only by His upside-down victory will the world be turned right-side-up. Come join us on Sunday as we look into Christ’s cross-shaped path to victory and rediscover our own triumph.
Col 2:6-12 God’s love and salvation comes to us unconditionally – but our experience of His love and salvation require our engagement: We must say Yes, not just at the altar call but in our day-to-day lives; not just to the Gospel pitch but to Gospel obedience over the course of this sojourn called Life. Join us this Sunday as we return to the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Colossians and hear about “The Purpose of Christ”.
Col 1:25-27; 2:1-3 In the film “Interstellar”, director Christopher Nolan suggests that love is as powerful a force in our lives as gravity. As Christians, we know this to be more than a mere suggestion — it is the truth we experience for ourselves, as outsiders who are being drawn to God by the love of Christ. Come join us this Sunday to hear more about “the Mystery of Christ” as we return to Colossians 1:25-27; 2:1-3.
Colossians 1:24-2:5 We live in a world of influencers and platforms; a world of content creators and followers; a world that poses some interesting challenges to following the Way of Christ. And that is the overall focus of this series of sermons in Colossians; as people seeking to be “Centered on Christ”, how do we follow the Way of Christ? It turns out that continuing on the Way of Christ requires us to be thoughtful about who we listen to, whose opinions we value, whose influence we embrace. Let’s unpack this thought this Sunday as we take our first look into Colossians 1:24-2:5.
Col 1:21-23 God’s love and salvation comes to us unconditionally – but our experience of His love and salvation require our engagement: We must say Yes, not just at the altar call but in our day-to-day lives; not just to the Gospel pitch but to Gospel obedience over the course of this sojourn called Life. Join us this Sunday as we return to the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Colossians and hear about “The Purpose of Christ”.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt 5:4; John 11 Please join us this Sunday as the pastoral staff has decided to do a lament service in light of the recent tragedies.