Living like God’s Children

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

he-qi-prodigal-sonAt a pivot point in the letter of Galatians, the Apostle Paul highlights a new reality that has come into our lives through Christ. In Christ, we are saved by grace through faith. God’s law has served as a tutor in regards to both God’s ways and our sinfulness in order to lead us to Christ as Savior.

Now, by faith in Christ, we are all “children of God” (3:26). Whereas we previously were children under a tutor, striving to live up to our identity, now in Christ we are children with full belonging. Paul will return to this theme letter in relation to our inheritance, but suffice it to say for now that we have a new relational position with God through Christ.

Not only that, but by faith in Christ, and through the sacred action of baptism, we “have clothed yourselves with Christ” (3:27). Baptism reflects our appropriate by faith of the work of Christ, who has died to sin and lives alive to God. So now, we too are dead to sin and alive to God (see Romans 6:1-14). We have a new existential identity with God through Christ.

Continuing, Paul tells us that by Faith in Christ, we are “all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). This well-known verse helps us understand that the things that often divide us in our cultures – ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status – have been radically nullified in Christ. In Jesus, God has done something new, as Paul writes elsewhere, which is “to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:15). We have a new relational community with God through Christ.

Finally, Paul emphasis that by faith in Christ, we are “Abraham’s seed…and heirs according to the promise” (3:29). As Paul writes later in this letter, “since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (4:7). What does it mean to be heirs? It means that because of Jesus we now assured as full recipients of the blessings of God. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20). We have a new promised hope with God through Christ.

We need to live like God’s children. How might we do that?Read More »

Jubilee (discussion questions)

appearing-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Jubilee,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Appearing.” The text for this week is Luke 4:14-30.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When was a time in your life when you really felt free? What happened?
  2. This week we continue our “Appearing” series by looking at Luke 4:14-30, where Jesus charts the course of His ministry as the dawning of a new age. Begin your study by asking God to speak to you from His Word, and then read that passage aloud.
  3. Jesus truly begins His public ministry with this episode. What do you notice about Jesus’ activity after the time of testing in the wilderness, according to 4:14-15?
  4. Jesus’ visit to his hometown synagogue in Nazareth brings a decisive moment of self-identification and sparks mixtures of anticipation and tension with others. Evidently, Jesus regularly attended the worship gathering of the synagogue (see 4:16), which included readings of Scripture. Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1-2 and 58:6. What stands out to you about these words from Isaiah the prophet?
  5. It was normal for someone to teach from the Scripture from the seated position. It is likely that Jesus spoke longer than what Luke recorded but that the key statement was what we read in 4:21. Why do you think Jesus’ statement here so important?
  6. Jesus continues by comparing His ministry to that of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, specifically their work with non-Jews (1 Kings 17-18; 2 Kings 5:1-14). Why was this significant?
  7. The people initially respond with awe (4:22), then suddenly shift to resentment of Jesus (4:28-29). Why would this happen? How might you have responded to Jesus if you were there?
  8. How do you need to experience the new age of Jesus’ life and ministry today? What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

 


Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

  • Dec. 12           Luke 4:14-15; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15
  • Dec. 13           Luke 4:16-21
  • Dec. 14           Isaiah 42:1-4; 58:6; 61:1-3
  • Dec. 15           Matthew 11:2-6
  • Dec. 16           Luke 4:22-30

Prepare (discussion questions)

appearing-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Prepare,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first part of our series, “Appearing.” The text for this week is Luke 3.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some of your traditions for preparing for Christmas? What special preparations are you making this year?
  2. This week marks the beginning of our next series with the Gospel of Luke, “Appearing.” This weekend we look at Luke 3, a chapter that focuses on the life and ministry of John the Baptist and the transition to Jesus. Begin your study by asking God to speak to you from His Word, and then read Luke 3:1-38 aloud.
  3. With chapter 3, Luke’s telling of Jesus’ story jumps from Jesus’ childhood to John the Baptist’s ministry as an adult. The listing of political and religious leaders in 3:1-2 helps us place the timeline at A.D. 29. Reading 3:2-6, how would you describe John’s life and ministry?
  4. What stands out to you most from John’s message in 3:7-9?
  5. Now look at John’s interactions with people’s questions in 3:10-14. What would you say is the theme of John’s responses in light of his overarching message (3:7-9) and mission (3:3-4)?
  6. What do you think it looks like to produce fruit in keeping with repentance today? What are of your life might need to produce fruit in keeping with repentance?
  7. John’s message lands him in prison (3:19-20), but not before he baptizes his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth (3:21-22). What does the baptism episode tell us about Jesus? (You may also want to look at parallel passages in Matthew 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11.)
  8. The genealogy in 2:23-38 tells us that Jesus is David’s heir, Abraham’s seed, and the Son of God. Which of these titles of Jesus means the most to you?
  9. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

 


 

Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

  • Nov. 28          Luke 3:1-6; Matthew 3:4-6
  • Nov. 29          Isaiah 40:3-11
  • Nov. 30          Luke 3:7-14; Matthew 3:7-10
  • Dec. 1              Luke 3:15-20; Matthew 3:11-12
  • Dec. 2              Luke 3:21-23a; Matthew 3:13-17

Prepare

 

img_1233This weekend at Eastbrook Church I began the second part of our extended journey into the Gospel of Luke entitled “Appearing.”  This series looks at Jesus’ public appearing in ministry in Luke 3 and 4. The first message of this series, “Prepare,” looks at the preparatory preaching of John the Baptist, specifically his call to produce the fruit of repentance.

You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.

“The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Luke 3:2-3)

John’s Call to Prepare (Luke 3:1-6)

 

Prepare through Repentance (Luke 3:7-9)

 

Prepare the Fruit of Repentance (Luke 3:10-14)

 

Prepare for Spiritual Fire (Luke 3:15-20)

 

Prepare for the One (Luke 3:21-38)

 

 

What Makes You Wanna Shout?

On June 22 at Eastbrook Church, we had an outdoor worship service with 30 baptisms and block party afterwards called the Big Block Bash. It was a blast to see more than one thousand people spread out worshiping the Lord and celebrating what God is doing in our church, city, and individual lives.

Here is the short message that I preached in the service based out of Luke 19:1-10, where Jesus encounters Zacchaeus. I built the sermon off the question: “what makes you wanna shout?”

Love Your Neighborhood: BIG BLOCK BASH from EastbrookChurch on Vimeo.