Monthly Archives: April 2014

Easter Sunday Baptisms

Easter Sunday was a day of celebration of the Risen Lord! We gathered to worship Jesus in song, in the proclamation of the truth of His Word and through the sacraments of baptism and communion.

Below are the video testimonies we showed before a few of the baptisms. (Thanks to Matthew Moore at Flat Face Films for the video work.)

maitlyn

Brett and Elise Harkey also had the privilege of baptizing their daughter Maitlyn. It was a morning of sweet celebration and fellowship centered on Jesus’ victory over sin and death!

Preparing For Worship – Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

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He is Risen!

This week, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death, burial & resurrection changes everything. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians, it is of first importance.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Join us to celebrate the good news that Jesus came, died and was resurrected to save us from our sins – it is of first importance!

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Made Alive (Listen | Purchase)

It is Finished (Listen | Purchase)

Jesus! (Listen | Purchase)

God Undefeatable (Listen | Purchase)

In Tenderness (Listen | Purchase)

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us (Listen | Purchase)

Love Shines (Listen | Purchase)

Amazing Grace (Listen | Purchase)

Preparing for Worship – April 13, 2014

“Thy will be done”

It’s a phrase that many of us have heard for years as a part of the Lord’s Prayer. Have you ever spent much time thinking about it? It’s a statement of surrender: “not MY will, but YOUR will be done”. I think many of us pray this phrase with a good bit of inauthenticity. We may say that we want HIS will to be done on earth and in our lives. But often what we really want is for OUR will to be done and for God to bless it. We’re secretly hoping that our will is also God’s will.

And here’s the thing: for the most part, THE WILL OF GOD IS NOT A SECRET. It been revealed to us all over the pages of scripture. Want to know what God’s will is? Read your Bible – His will, His commands, His desires are found throughout.

For instance, one thing we know is that it is God’s will that the gospel of Jesus would be advanced throughout the world. This week we’ll be taking a break from Ecclesiastes to dive into a passage in Philippians where we will see that God’s will to advance the gospel happened even through Paul’s suffering and imprisonment:

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me (Paul’s imprisonment) has really served to advance the gospel. – Philippians 1:12

And what was Paul’s response to this?

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice. – Philippians 1:18

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21

We see in the example of Paul that he was able to truly surrender to the will of God for his life. Whether in life or in death. Whether imprisoned or free. He was willing to rejoice in the fact that the gospel was being advanced and was transforming lives.

What about you? Are you willing to truly pray the prayer “Thy will be done”? Are you willing to see God’s will be done in and through your life?

Father, help this to be true of us all.

 

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Rejoice (Listen | Purchase)

The Lord’s Prayer

My God My Father (Listen | Purchase)

By His Grace (Listen | Purchase)

In The Shadow Of The Glorious Cross (Listen | Purchase)

Jesus Paid It All (Listen & Download)

 

Preparing for Worship – April 6, 2014

mainslideNEW

What is worship? How should we worship? These are questions that the church has been wrestling with for centuries. There is much in the scriptures to give us insight.

One thing we see very clearly in scripture is that we can approach God together because of Jesus. (Thankfully) we don’t have to offer sacrifices of animals to cover our sins before we can worship the one true God. Jesus himself was our sacrifice, once and for all.

He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. – Hebrews 9:12

Because Jesus has become our sacrifice, we have forgiveness and restoration of relationship with God. Because of Jesus, we can approach God with confidence and we’re promised to receive mercy, grace and help.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

That confidence isn’t based in our performance, our attitude, or our righteousness. It’s based on the fact that Jesus is PERFECT. So, because of Jesus, let’s confidently approach the one true God who is worthy of all of our worship, reverence and awe this Sunday.

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Mediator (Listen | Purchase)

Made Alive (Listen | Purchase)

Rock of Ages (Listen | Purchase)

One Hanging On A Tree (Listen | Purchase)

Man of Sorrows (Listen | Purchase)

Nothing But The Blood (Listen | Purchase)

Baptism: Dead to sin, Alive to Christ

As a church we celebrate the truths of the gospel in many ways – through prayer, song and the reading of the Word. We also celebrate the gospel through tangible pictures like the ordinance of baptism. You may be asking. What is an ordinance? What is baptism? I’m glad you asked.

What is an ordinance?
We believe there are two ordinances (sacraments) for the church – the Lord’s Supper or communion and baptism. A ordinance is a command of Jesus instituted for the church as an outward, visible sign of an inward, invisible reality. For example, the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus when he broke bread and shared wine with his disciples. This is an outward, visible sign of an inward, invisible reality.  When we gather and eat the bread and drink the wine we are showing physically, visibly, that we are united with Christ because of the work on the cross – his body broken, his blood shed.  This is a visible, outward sign (body/bread and blood/wine) indicating the inward reality of unity with Christ.

What is baptism?
Unlike some other traditions, we do not believe that baptism is salvific (it does not bring about salvation).  It does not purify from sin.  It does not regenerate a person.  Why is that our belief?  We believe that salvation, the purification of sins and the regeneration of the heart comes about by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation.  There is no physical act that deserves salvation. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.  Some would say they have their ticket to heaven because they were baptized as an infant.  That is not found in the bible – in fact that teaching is in direct opposition to the teaching of God’s Word.

We believe that baptism is a command from Jesus for those who repent and believe in the gospel (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38). The act of baptism communicates many related things.

1.) Baptism communicates union with Christ and His Body. Romans 6:3 says – “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death.” The one who is being baptized is lowered into the water to symbolize their own death, just like Jesus died.

2.) Baptism communicates death to the old life. When someone is baptized they are communicating a death to the former way of life, the ongoing habitual life of a sinner. Will they still sin? Yes, but in baptism they are communicating with Paul, “our old self was crucified with Jesus in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6).

3.) Baptism communicates new life in Christ. Paul says in Romans 6:4 “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” The way this is being communicated in baptism is through the symbolism of being placed into the water and being brought out of the water – resurrected out of the water.

4.) Baptism communicates the gospel. Those who are baptized are clearly communicating the gospel to their own hearts and to those who are participating in the gathered worship service. In baptism, as a church, we are communicating the very things Paul said in Romans 6 – “our old selves were crucified with Jesus in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin…If we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. Death no longer has dominion or rule over Jesus. For the death He died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God!  So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3-11).

Baptism is a beautiful picture of the gospel – dead to sin, alive in Christ. Have you been baptized? Would you like to be baptized? Email us here for more information about our next baptisms