Loading Player...

Pastoral Greeting (contemplate)

Greetings Brothers & Sisters in the Name Of Christ Our King,

As we approach 2019, and since we have completed our journey through Romans, I thought it was important that we remind ourselves who we are as a church. 

We will draw our message from three different passages; 1st from Phil. 2:2  "complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,” It’s important we are all on the same page!

Next, we find our mandate from the great commandment Matthew 22:36-40 and lastly, from the Great Commission, in Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus gives His final instructions.  These are not suggestions but mandates to the church.  We, at the River’s Edge, love Jesus and are very pleased to do them by His grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit!

May I have words to preach and that you may have ears to hear by the Spirit’s power and in the name of Jesus.

Pastor John

Scripture Referenced:

Matthew 22:36-40
Matthew 28:18-20

AMind To Glorify God  …Magnify
Philippians 2:2
Matthew 22:37
1 Corinthians 10:31
Romans 11:36
Isiah 42:8
Revelations 5:13

A Mind To Spread The Gospel  …Mission
Matthew 28:8
Mark 16:15
1 Peter 3:15
Acts 1:8

A Mind To Grow In God’s Word  …Maturity
Matthew 22:20
Acts 2:42
2 Peter 4:14-16
2 Peter 3:18
1 Timothy 3:16
Ephesians 4:11
Romans 3:10-11
Hebrews 13:17

A Mind To Serve The Body Of Christ, His Church  …Ministry
Matthew 22:39
1 Peter 4:10
1 Corinthians 12:25
Romans 12:5
2 Timothy 1:6

A Mind To Devote Ourselves To One Another  …Membership
Matthew 28:19
Ephesians 2:19
Romans 12:5

 

Beloved Church,

Today we embark upon our virgin voyage through the 1st letter, written by Paul the apostle to the Church in Corinth.  This is a stern letter to a church that had failed to thrive even after Paul himself planted it and remained there for eighteen months to teach her the Gospel.

In the timeline AD55, Paul is presently building up the church for the past 2 1/2 years in Ephesus, just across the Bay of Corinth, when news of her grievous sin is received.  Paul is shocked that it has gone without discipline by her leaders. 

Today we will learn about Corinth so we can place ourselves in the setting with which this letter is found, that we might better understand where Paul (apostle, messenger of God) is coming from. 

Please pray for me, your pastor, as I seek to rightly divide and preach God’s holy Word, that we might be built up and obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ brought to us through Paul.  Our community and nation share the unchecked disobedience of this early church in Corinth. Making this rebuke incredibly relevant. Let us learn from her mistakes and let us like Paul, expect our church leaders to not only be an example, but to hold one another to account, that we as a church in the Thumb, might be faithful. 

For His Glory Alone!

May I have words to preach and that you may have ears to hear by the Spirit’s power and in the name of Jesus.

Until We See Him Face To Face,

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 16:8-9
1 Corinthians 6:9
1 Corinthians 13:1
Jude 1:24
2 Corinthians 7:8

 

 

Greetings Beloved Church,

Today we continue in our journey through the 1st letter to the Corinthian Church.

Corinth was the largest, busiest city in Greece in the 1st century.  Paul is reminding them of His love for them and His belief that God who started a good work in them, through the confirmation of the Spirit’s power and gifts, will surely bring His work to its completion.  He reminds them God is faithful.  In all of this, an important doctrine of the church emerges: "The Effectual Call”. 

What is the effectual call?  It is where God calls a person to himself but differentiated from the external call, where a person simply hears the gospel message without affect. The effectual call always ends in the salvation of the believer.

Without the effectual call, The Corinthians would be in trouble. They've backslidden in Paul’s absence. The encouragement he offers in the beginning of this letter will descend to a very stern correction, that they might live up to the high calling they have received.

My prayer for you today is that you will truly be given ears to hear, that you may not only hear the Gospel but repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ, that you might have eternal life and so glorify God forever!

May I have words to preach and may you have ears to hear by the Spirit’s power and in the name of Jesus.

Until We See Him Face To Face,

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Phil 2:13
John 6:44
2 Timothy 2:25
1 Peter 1:3
2 Peter 1:3
1 Peter 2:9
Matthew 22:14
Ephesians 2:1
Romans 3
Matthew 22:14
1 Corinthians 11:26
Romans 8:19, 23
John 3:16
2 Timothy 4:8
Hebrews 9:28
Romans 8:28-30
Jude 24

“If it were up to us to be saved, no one would be saved.”  R. C. Sproul

Greetings Brothers & Sisters,

Today we continue in Paul’s 1st epistle to the Corinthians.  After encouraging them, by the reminder of their effectual call from God who completes all that He starts; he must correct the bad witness of the division that arose in his absence.  This division exposed also the error of their thinking.  They were conflicted as to what actually saved their souls!

Method, argument, personality, nor miracle has power to save or grant faith.  The wages of our sin has one remedy, it's not Baptism or Communion, even though Jesus commanded it.  It’s not prayer, Bible, church or witnessing.  It’s not tithing or serving in your ministry, even though all these things Christ commands.  There is only one ingredient, surrounded by all of these graces that can save our souls and that is the Gospel, Christ crucified!

Do you know the Gospel?  Have you heard it and responded to the call? Do you see the marks of a transformed life?  Then the Gospel has had its effect on you!

The Gospel is the main ingredient!

My prayer for you is that you will truly be given ears to hear, that you may not only hear the Gospel but repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ, that you might have eternal life and so glorify God forever!

Until We See Him Face To Face,

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced,

Matthew 18:15-17
Romans 1:16
Isaiah 29:14
Romans 1:19-22
Matthew 16:4

 

Greetings Brothers & Sisters,

How safe do you feel in that chair right now?  Your faith rests in that seat.  You trust it’s integrity.  This is the same rest we find in the unchangeable Gospel.

Our faith rests I the power of God not on the opinion of man.  The power of God is the message of the Gospel.  What is the Gospel?  Christ crucified for our sins past, present & future.  This Gospel calls us to union in Christ.  We are bonded to His death to sin and His resurrection o eternal life.

Our faith is in Jesus.  He gives us eternal life, not temporary life; therefore we will NOT perish.  Affirm your faith today as you repent afresh of everything that is displeasing to your savior!

Rest in Christ; be confident in Christ.

I love you.    

Pastor John

 

 

Other Scripture Referenced,

Romans 8:1, 11:29, 1:16
Isaiah 55:11
2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Our text today reflects the need for Paul to defend His preaching.  He must deal with the immature Corinthians who were easily divided among themselves.  Paul had laid a firm foundation in the Gospel of Christ crucified and they were mixing it with worldly philosophy.  After being nearly three years absent, they began to pile wood, hay and stubble upon His beautiful cornerstone, Jesus Christ. He must strip this away and re-establish the Gospel, foolishness to the world.

Today, we see the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  In order to have ears to hear the Gospel and a heart to believe it, one must be born of the Spirit!  Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  Believers now have the mind of Christ through regeneration in the Holy Spirit.

The Mind of Christ Discerns: 1. What is wise  2. What is worldly  3. What is hidden 4. What is unimaginable  5. What is eternal  6. the Bible.

Let us no longer conform to the pattern of this world, let us offer ourselves as living sacrifices unto God, to be renewed in our minds daily through the study of His Holy Word and the power of the Holy Spirit!

Pastor John

 

Dear Brethren,

Jesus said, we are living in the last days. Paul said "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2Tim. 4:3) We live in the last days and have definitely come to that time when people will not learn, they’re unteachable and only listen to teachers who tell them what they want to hear. 

Everyone likes to think of themselves as an adult, no one wants to constantly have their intelligence insulted but in the spiritual realm we must deal with the fact that we are God’s children. He is the Father of all and we are His little ones.  We must humble ourselves as little children but cannot stay there.

By God’s grace, “Let Us Grow Up”.

Until We’re Mature,

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced,

1 Corinthians 13:11
Romans 8:13

Greetings Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we come to 1 Cor. 3:10-23.  Here, Paul declares himself an expert builder.  He wants the Corinthians to get back to the central message of the church:  The Gospel, Christ crucified, this message from God with the power to save.  He wants them to grow up and go beyond the worldly status quo, dividing up between favorite personalities. 

Paul switches from the “planting & watering” of a field, to a “building” metaphor.  He has laid a foundation and someone is trying to build on that foundation with false and weak materials.  The Christian needs to be washed in the Gospel of God’s word alone to withstand the intensity of His wrath against all sin on judgement day.

An expert builder, the wise pastor, will use the Gospel; the only proper  material to save and shield his people from judgement.  We, as little sanctuaries, depend on the Holy Spirit to use preachers to build us up in this Most Holy Faith.

Pray for your pastors as they humbly seek to do just that.

Pastor John

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Today in our text, Paul continues to defend His authority as apostle.  He’s a fool by the world’s standards for Christ, and so slandered and marginalized by his enemies.  The one clear message to us all is to never join those who criticize the Stewards of God’s Word, Ps 105:15 warns “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”

We live at a time when people compare pastors according to numbers of people, budgets, satellite churches, programs, the preaching or music, it’s worldly consumerism having little to do with what is Holy.

Today we’re given a theology of how we should regard the Servants of God, especially the apostles who spoke what become the New Testament, the very standard for church order and the Christian life. Pray as I preach a message that is uncomfortable for me to preach. I feel foolish preaching it. But, ever since I repented of my sins, I’ve surrendered my life to be a fool for Christ, I hope you will join me!

Until All With Ears To Hear Have Heard,

Pastor John

Greetings beloved in the Faith,

As we continue in 1 Corinthians we remember Paul is raising his tone to admonish the Corinthians who wander from the truth in his absence. They've disrespected his leadership as an apostle by pitting his teaching against worldly philosophy and apostle against apostle. They divide. They’re wrong because Christ unites.

Today in our text, Paul reminds them he comes to admonish, warn, and not to pile on guilt.  It is a father who must discipline a child and Paul has made clear they act like children, trying to divide one parent in the faith from another.  Paul reminds them that just because Christ takes away our shame, we're not free to do as we please and do it again.

Paul is a father and, like a father, he warns them, and will be following up with discipline from his faithful assistant Timothy.

Paul is their father in the faith.  Who is your father in the faith?

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced….

1 Timothy 1:2
Acts 20:29

Dear brothers & Sisters,

Would you want a church that disobeys the Bible?

After asking the rowdy church in Corinth in chapter 4:21, if they’d like him to come with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? He moves in our text, to the issue prompting his letter: Sin that requires church discipline.  

Chapter 5 teaches Church discipline seeks to 1.Save sinners and 2. Purify the Church, both to 3. Honor Jesus Christ our Lord!

Love the church discipline Christ calls for in scripture to the glory & honor of Christ!

Pastor John

 

Dear Brethren,

Our Message today is entitled Continue to Be God’s Holy People.

Paul’s letter is a stern warning of correction to the Corinthian church who deviated from her call to holiness.  God’s Holy People must reflect the holiness of God.  "but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,” (1Pet. 1:15)  

God is the most High in all Holiness. But the Corinthian church is low & profane, exceeding the corruption of the sleaziest city in Greece!  Infighting & incest mar her witness of a Holy God! The city of Corinth cannot be impressed with Christianity.

In 1 Cor. 6:1-11 We find...

  • · God’s Holy People are Washedby the word & continue daily washing.
  • ·  God’s Holy People are Sanctifiedset apart to continue in holiness.
  • ·  God’s Holy People are Justifiedmade sinless, obliged to not backslide

Let us All then Continue to Be God’s Holy People.

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Peter 1:15
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Luke 1:9
Revelation 4:8
2 Timothy 2:12
Revelation 5:13
1 Timothy 3:16
Psalm 51:9

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the previous section, Paul challenges a backslidden church in Corinth.  They tolerated sexual sin, drunkenness and public lawsuits of brother against brother in the pagan courts, all shaming the name of Christ.

Today Paul reminds them of their body’s destiney: reigning & ruling with the King of Kings, Jesus Christ in The Kingdom of Heaven.  Christ does not return for an adulterous bride, but a pure and spotless bride!

The Resurrected Life Forbids Adultery  …Because it:

  • Profanes our union with Christ
  • Harms us body, mind & soul
  • Prevents the glory of God

We repent daily & turn to Christ to live the resurrected life because:

  • Christ forgives our sin of doing what is forbidden
  • Christ cleanses our bodies of profanity, making us the temple of Holy Spirit
  • Christ heals our deepest wounds, restoring our healthy union with Christ.

Christ renews our minds to live for His glory forever.

May God give us grace to repent,

Pastor John
 

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 15:14
Revelation 19:2
Genesis 2:24
1 Corinthians 6:16
James 2:10

 

 Greetings Brethren,

This morning we continue through Corinthians to chapter 7.

In keeping with his instructions on holiness since chapter 5, he now focuses on questions they wrote to ask him regarding marriage, singleness, divorce, remarriage, marriage to unbelievers, celibacy, slavery and circumcision.  The basic theme in all these things is to "stay put," which is the title of our message. Paul instructs the Corinthians to remain in the situation they were in when they were called to follow Jesus.

This morning will be the first in a three part series entitled: Stay put. We’ll introduce the overall theme of chapter 7 and focus on verses 1-9, then next week 10-31, then 32-40 if you would like to study along.

So where were you when you repented of your sins to follow Christ? Paul would say: stay put.  Some of you might have to admit, I haven’t repented of my sins yet and to you, he would say, DON'T stay put. 

Pray for a demonstration of the Spirit’s power as we work through this difficult chapter.

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Cor 7:10, 12, 17, 20, 24, 28, 35, 40
Ephesians 5:25-33

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We’ll continue in 1 Corinthians 7 this morning with the theme which is found in verse 17: “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him.  This is my rule in all the churches.”  These are the rules instituted by Paul in the context of the chaotic culture of Corinth.  His rule is church law in all churches, including The Rivers Edge.  Everyone’s trying to improve their happiness, but Paul says in v. 20 to stay put: “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called”.  Many of us know what we want , few of us know what we need.  Do you need God’s will or are you satisfied with your own?  The apostle exhorts us to quit chasing a better situation and to trust God where we are.  By God’s grace we will learn to “stay put” for His glory!

- Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Matthew 5:32, 19:4
Malachi 2:16

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Our text today continues our study of 1 Cor.7:32-40 We’ve learned from this Chapter, that as a general rule, God would have us Stay Put and not try to control everything in our lives. It’s enough to trust & obey His Word - to trust & obey the good Shepherd. Today’s text shows us Paul has 4 Motives for telling us to Stay Put, as he continues to define marriage and the benefits of being single.  Wherever we find ourselves after making a mess of our lives: Paul says "stay put”, be steadfast & stable minded in Christ.  Paul’s 4 motives for saying this is revealed today:

  • To Be Free from Anxiety
  • To Promote Good Order
  • To Be Undivided In Devotion
  • To Be Happier 

May God’s Word bless you richly today.


-Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Psalm 23:1
Matthew 6:34
1 Corinthians 7:35

Dear & Beloved,

Today in chapter 8 Paul responds to another question about eating food sacrificed to idols.

In verses 1-3 he reminds them that even though they know idols don't exist, they shouldn't be insensative to each other.  If we don't love your brother we don't know or love God.

In verses 4-8 He afirms the oneness of God.  There is no other God.  We exist as born again, Christians because of the one Savior Jesus Christ.

In verses 8-13 Paul deals with the weak consciences of newley converted Corinthians - superstious about the gods they worshipped all their lives.  They repented from that sin and Paul doesn't want the stronger, knowledgeable one causing them to stumble.  

Many good reminders as to how we fellowship with one another in the churh, the body of people Christ saved fro their sins!

-Pastor John

 

Other scripture referenced:

Romans 14:23

Dear & Beloved,

Paul has been dealing with the issue of idolatry in ch8 and the principle of forsaking our freedoms, to benefit our weaker brothers specifically related to eating meat sacrificed to idols.  

Today in chapter 9, he turns to himself as an example since everyone examines him up and downed criticizes him anyway. He gives us reason to carry our cross and forgo our freedoms in verse 19 "For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.”  

Paul has a right to be paid. Yet He forgoes this to win more for Christ. 

In Matt. 16:24  …" Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

What would you give up to win more for Christ? 

-Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 1:19
2 Timothy 4:14
Psalm 105:15
Deuteronomy 25:4
Exodus 20:3
Matthew 16:24

Greetings Church Family

Paul has been speaking of forgoing our rights for the sake of the weak, that we might win as many as possible and receive a great crown in heaven. His eye is on the prize.  He's willing to modify all sorts of behaviors to win lost souls. Paul gives the example of one fully sacrificed to God, forsaking his own freedoms. He doesn’t have to push his view on Jews who didn’t really need to be circumcised, celebrate the festivals & live the Jewish lifestyle. He doesn’t need to change the mind of a brother with a weak conscience. He doesn’t need to take his rightful pay either because he hopes his generosity will win more for Christ.

What will you forgo to reach more for Christ today?

-Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

 Philippians 2:5-11
1 Corinthians 8:10
1 Corinthians 6:9
Romans 12:1
Romans 12:4

 

Greetings Church Family

Paul’s been talking in Ch 8,9 about self-denial to protect the weak & win the lost. After explaining how wrong their rightness can be when they cause a weak one to stumble, now, in 1 Corinthians 10, he warns them not to sin in their self-confidence.

We need to heed this warning too. We tend to, in our self-confidence, take credit for our success and fail to give God, who granted that success, the glory He deserves.

Paul reminds us that God wasn’t pleased with of most of his elect - the Israelites.  They provoked His anger and in one instance, 23,000 fell, in another instance, they were destroyed by serpents and in another by -God himself. Paul tells us this happened for our example.  It should terrify us all - knowing we’re inclined to trust ourselves before we trust God and provoke His anger.

Today Paul reminds us of how over-confident and arrogantly idolatrous, the children of Israel were, right in God’s known presence! They would mistake His kindness and mercy for His being a push-over. His slowness to anger is misread by those who think God is love and never gets angry.

We need to feel secure in our salvation, but need to remove any self-confidence we may have. God will shake our self-confidence, through Paul, who even includes himself in this warning, then he encourages us by reminding us of God’s faithfulness.

-Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 9:27
1 Corinthians 9:24
1 Corinthians 9:5
Numbers 25: 1-31x
Jude 1:24

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Can you believe it has been 20 years since God called us out of darkness into His marvelous light -to serve Him together in this community?  God has been truly good to us. He brought us through attacks from within and without! He has been faithful through afflictions, mild persecutions, betrayal and the loss of loved ones. We’ve also seen many converted to true faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! We’ve seen a community form, a family grow, a bride be faithful to her Lord & Master Jesus Christ, head of His church. Through thick & thin we have come to love one another. Together we have overcome evil by doing good.  We have forgiven one another, buried each other, married each other and have brought forth the fruit of many children!

By God’s grace, and His alone, we will endure another twenty years. None of us deserve this, but God has given His son as a sacrifice for us, let us be thankful. "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Rom. 12:3)

Until He Comes or Until We Die,

-Pastor John

Dear Brothers & Sisters, 

Paul has been teaching the Corinthians about how Christian freedom can harm a weak brother & even draw us into idolatry. Anything that we love more than God is an idol.  Today, he asks them if they’d like to provoke God’s jealousy. We ask today “where is the line? At what point do I anger God?” Because no one can stand in the midst of an all-consuming God.  It’s an answer we all need to know AND you’re going to find that you have crossed that line countless times.  

Thank goodness we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, crucified for repentant sinners!

Let us not provoke God's Jealousy but His mercy, let us repent of our sins.

Pastor John   

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Previous to our section today in 1 Corinthians, Paul has been warning against idolatry ever since chapter 8, his concern is that none are made to stumble & that we ourselves don’t turn our freedoms into idols, that we would be willing refrain from things not prohibited, so more may be saved. Now today Paul concludes ch10 reminding us that in all we do we must glorify God.  This is the question we ask of all our behavior, especially as it relates to our brethren. This is in fact the meaning of our lives. 

Pastor John Gunden 

 

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Peter 4:10
Romans 2:23
Philippians 2:5

 

Greetings Brother & Sisters!

Today's text in our journey through 1 Corinthians takes a shift from Paul dealing with the idolatry of the Corinthians to the chaotic and unholy behavior in the actual church service.  He deals with head coverings, long hair, short hair, communion and the practice of spiritual gifts in the public church gathering.  Which by the way, was just assumed.  You gathered for church; something many professing Christians have lost in our day and age.  

Today's text is considered the most puzzling section in all of scripture by many of the greatest scholars.  It was always taken literally, with most church denominations practicing obedience to what is commanded.  Women covered their heads in public worship, and no one dreamed of acting out in a manner that was opposite their gender.

Things have sadly changed.  Let us pray we gain the meaning of this passage today.

-- Pastor John Gunden

 

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Hebrews 13:17
Romans 13:1
Genesis 3:16
Colotians 3:18-20
1 Corinthians 14

 

Greetings Brothers and sisters!

Paul has shifted from addressing the Corinthian idolatry in Chapters 8-10 to how behavior in church. He ended Chapter 10 saying, “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This is the meaning of life & guides every thing we do. We refrain from anything that dishonors God.

Paul’s correction of the Corinthians teaches us today that we must know our place whether an apostle, angel, husband, wife or even the Son of God who submitted His life to the Father for our sins.  Today we learn the Corinthians profaned His sacrifice at the communion Table.

Let us never do that here.

Pastor John Gunden 

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

James 4:4
John 6:32-65
1 John 1:6-10
Revelation 3:17

 

Greetings Brothers and sisters!

In today’s text 1 Cor.12:1-3, Paul must correct yet another fiasco. The Corinthians were not dealing with authority well, not handling their roles as men & women well, nor did they honor the Lord’s supper and now they demand that everyone have the same gift, if they want to prove they’re Spirit-filled.

The chaotic Corinthians must work together as a body to glorify God. Paul teaches us today that the evidence of being born of the Spirit is not speaking in tongues but a transformed life that now wants the will of Christ done, because Jesus is Lord. This is how we discover our spiritual gifts.

Pastor John Gunden 

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

 

1 Corinthians 7:1, 11:31, 11:2, 14:39, 12:28, 13:1, 14:4
Acts 2:1-11
Romans 13:1
Ephesians 2:1-5

Greetings Dear Church,

Paul teaches us in today's text: that the manifestation of the Spirit's work is a transformed life and not that everyone exercises one certain gift; namely tongues.  True Faith in Christ produces a variety of gifts, misistries and energies to serve the church.

Today we ask two questions.

1. How do we know or discover our gifts, our service or the activity we should be giving to the Church of Jesus Christ?

2.  At judgement, will God judge our faith in the good works of Christ, which produces gifts, ministries and energies to serve the church or will our lack of the Spirit's work testify as a false faith?

Serious questions indeed.  May God help us all as we trust in Christ to do His work in us by the Spirit's power.

Lovingly,
Pastor John

 

Other scriptiure referenced:

1 Corinthians 10:31, 14:4-6
1 Peter 4:10
Hebrews 10:24
John 3:8

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Ephesians 4:11-16
1 Corinthians 6:20
1 Corinthians 14:1-5

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

What’s going on in this 1 Cor. Letter? Paul is answering questions he received while in Ephesus regarding their quarreling, sexual sin & idolatry in the church. In chapters 11-14 He’s dealing with the Corinthians bad behavior in the church gathering.  They’re bringing they’re philosophical culture into the church. They loved to argue their views. They couldn’t even get along at the communion table.  

Their casual attitude at church gatherings carried with it their false opinions giving way to false teaching. Just as they had profaned the communion table they made the distribution of gifts a mockery as they sought to outdo each other in holiness and spiritual experience. 

Today’s chapter brings clear correction to the Corinthian church and guidance to the church at large for centuries to come. Paul offers a "more excellent way" to behave, saying, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1Cor. 13:1)

How can you be more loving and less competitive toward your brother?

Pastor John

  

Other Scripture Referenced:

  • 1 Corinthians 14:4

 

 

Greetings in the Lord Jesus,

As God’s voice and apostle, Paul instructs the gentile nations. He spoke in tongues by necessity more than anyone, to fulfill his commission to preach the Gospel to a gentile world. With God’s authority he brings order to the Corinthian church gathering.

In our text today, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Paul says, rather than pursue tongues, pursue love and earnestly desire prophecy to upbuild, encourage & console the church. This then, not prediction, is the goal of prophecy.

We upbuild with the Word, encourage with the Word and console the church with the Word. Prophecy is declaring the Word of God.

May His Word do just that today! May it build you with perfection, encourage you to love and good deeds and comfort your afflictions!

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 12:1-3, 12-21, 27-30
1 Corinthians 13:1
John 3:16
1 John 2:4-10, 4:7-8
Psalm 40

Greetings in the Lord Jesus,

Today, Paul gives three ways to have an intelligible gathering.

  1. To benefit each other
  2. To keep their heads
  3. To grow up

Number one, in all our activity in church we ask: am I benefiting others?

Number two, am I seeking increasing knowledge of God so I can worship the God of the Bible; to not let emotion dominate me but seek to worship in Spirit and in truth.

Finally, to grow up, not speaking as a child in unitilligible tongues in church.

Let's pursue love this way and have an intelligible church gathering.

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 14:3, 13:11

 

Dear Brothers Sisters in Christ,

Today we continue our exposition of 1 Corinthians 14, wrapping up Paul’s long treatment of dealing with order in the church and specifically the gift of tongues for 3 chapters. 

There are clear indications that things were out of control, so Paul lays down some specific rules for the all the churches. 1st He instructs them to have two or three messages in tongues with an interpretation but never simultaneously. 2nd only two or three prophecies were allowed but never simultaneously.  Finally, He asks the ladies to tone it down too, giving them instruction be silent in the church.

May God’s Holy Word restore our souls today.

Pastor John

 

Dear saints at The River’s Edge,

I miss you all dearly and am praying earnestly for you. I thank you for your prayers for me and my family. We can’t wait to be home with you all next month!

With all that is going on among us, I hope to bless you with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ (from John 15:5) “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Remember that. Apart from Him we can do nothing, truly nothing. He is the head of the church, we are His body. We need Him and one another. 

I would also remind you of what the apostle Paul told the Corinthian church by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (found in 2 Cor. 13:11)

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

-Pastor Ryan

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Corinthians 14:40
2 Corinthians 5:14
Ecclesiastes 3:11
John 21:9-14
1 John 1:1-3
Romans 8:28
1 Peter 2:9
Ephesians 2 :1-9

 

Paul said in 1 Cor 14:40 "But all things should be done decently and in order" to lead into our text.  What kind of order would there be to our lives if the terror of death loomed before us all the time?

In today's text, false teachers in the Corinthian church sought to remove the resurrection component of the Gospel.  A tactic Satan still uses against the church.  

Today we learn again that the Gospel without the resurrection is not the Gospel.  If we don't believe in the resurrection, we remain dead in our trespasses & sins with eternal death before us.  The doctrine of the resurrection teaches us something else too, that Jesus will destroy death in the end, we'll never worry about death again!

Pastor John

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This morning I am grateful for a merciful congregation and for so many of you who have pitched in to support their chruch in these challenging days.  God's providence can be frightening and painful but we are assured that all things will "work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:28,29)

Many have prayed more, Christ prayed regularly in lonely places.  Many have been more attentive to each other.  Christ was attentive to heal the sick, encourage the poor and strengthen the weak.  Many have cried, Jesus wept at the death of His dear friend Lazarus.  God is indeeed conforming us to be more like Christ in this time of great loss.  

This is why we can rejoice amid sorrow.  Joy to the world the Lord has come!

Pastor John

 

Other scripture referenced:

Luke 23:34
2 Corinthians 5:21
Isaiah 53:3-10
Hebrews 4:15
Revelation 21:1-7

Dear brothers and Sisters,

The core message of Christmas is that God penetrated time and space through the virgin birth to Save all who believe!  Glad Tidings of Great joy and the Gospel are synonymous in meaning. The Corinthian church was off the rails teaching there was no resurrection! Chapter 15 is the resurrection chapter, the most detailed treatment of the subject in the Bible.

Today he addresses the philosophers who thought they could inform the Gospel. It reminds us that scripture is sufficient to inform us without outside help. The Gospel includes death, burial and resurrection, you can’t remove one without destroying the whole. The Gospel is the power to save, it’s a miracle, let’s not mess with it. Our hope is in the resurrection!

Today he helps us see resurrection all around us in the seeds we see scattered. Paul says we are like resurrection seeds!  We must first die to live!

Merry Christmas

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

 1 Corinthians 11:30
1 Corinthians 3:15
1 Corinthians 11:20
Psalm 115:3
Revelation 20:4
John 12:24

Dear brothers and Sisters,

Today Paul reveals to us the mystery, something up until now, had not yet been revealed, specifically regarding resurrection. This forms the doctrine of the resurrection held by the church since these early days of the church. We learn three results and are given 3 challenges.

1. We’re Changed – When He Returns

2. We’re Champions – When He Destroys Death

3. We’re Challenged – Until Christ Returns

  • To be steadfast.
  • To Be Immovable
  • To abound in the work of the Lord

The results of resurrection help give focus for our task on earth. Let us store up treasure in heaven where moth & rust cannot destroy. The best in life is yet to come but it’s on the other side where our joy is eternal!

Joy To The World - The Lord Is Come!

Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

Matthew 1:20
John 3;16
Matthew 24:29-31
Jeremiah 25
Psalm 118:6
2 Corinthians 4:18

Merry Christmas!


This morning we're taking a break from our study in 1 Corinthians to focus on three truths that the birth of Jesus Christ teaches us: 1) God is real. 2) We need a savior. 3) There is hope! I pray that your faith will be strengthened as we explore the grace and truth that is found in Christ alone. By God's Word and Spirit, may we be better equipped to live for His glory. O come let us adore Him!

-Pastor Ryan

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

 

Isaiah 7:14
John 1:5
John 3:16-20
John 3:36
Matthew 15:18
Romans 5:12-18
Matthew 1:21
John 1-10
Isaiah 53
Ephesians 2:8

 

Pastoral Greeting

In today’s short text we find 5 worship practices of the early church:

1. They Took a collection to worship God

2. They Gathered on Sunday not Saturday to worship God

3. They Each Gave Something to worship God

4. They Stored up finances methodically to worship God

5. They Gave To The Poor to worship God So why would Paul’s logic and train of thought lead him from defending resurrection in chapter 15 to collections in chapter 162 Because the first day of the week, Sunday is the day Christ rose from the dead, the day the early church gathered. It was an opportunity to check your heart in this way: Do you worship God or money, Do you store treasure in heaven or on earth.

It's a critical thing to get right in our Christian life. Do lworship God or my money? May God give us the grace to be honest with ourselves.

-Pastor John

 

Other Scripture Referenced:

1 Timothy 6:1-10
1 John 1:7
2 Corinthians 9:7
Galatians 2:9-10
Malachi 3:7-10
Isaiah 58:13-14