A People Called by God

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began a new preaching series entitled “United,” which explores the essential nature of the church. This first week of the series I expanded upon the statement that the church is a people called by God. I walked through Ephesians 1:3-14 as the basis for my message.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“We, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:12)

What is the Church?

3 Characteristics of the Church (Ephesians 1:3-14)

  1. The Church is Chosen by God the Father (1:3-6)
    1. Blessed with every spiritual blessing (1:3)
    1. Called and chosen by God (1:4, 11)
    1. Adopted by the Father through Jesus Christ (1:5)
  • The Church is Redeemed in Jesus Christ (1:7-13)
    • Redeemed and forgiven through the blood of Christ and lavish grace of God (1:7-8)
    • Given insight into the mystery of God’s will (1:9-10)
    • Received the message of truth, the gospel of salvation (1:13)
  • The Church is Sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13-14)
    • Marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit (1:13-14)
    • Living to the praise of God’s glory (1:6, 12, 14) 

Living as the Church

Responding to God the Father’s call

Savoring God’s goodness in Jesus Christ

Living for God’s praise by the power of the Holy Spirit


Dig Deeper:

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize Ephesians 1:3-14 in its entirety or a verse from it. You may also want to memorize Ephesians 4:4-6.
  • Journal about Ephesians 1:3-14, perhaps thanking God for each of the spiritual blessings outlined in this passage or dwelling upon one or two specifics that stand out to you.
  • Reach out to someone to share with them what God is teaching you about the church and the spiritual blessings found in Jesus Christ. 
  • Watch the Bible Project overview video on the book of Ephesians

Son of God [Name Above All Names]

NAAN-Series-GFX_App-Wide.pngAs we continued our series, “Name Above All Names,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I looked at one of Jesus’ most revered titles: Son of God.  With roots in the promises to Abraham and David, Jesus’ identity as the Son of God stretches all the way before Creation and speaks of His unique relationship with God the Father and way of living upon earth.

You can view the message video and sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Bibliography on the Trinity

The Trinity Series Gfx_4x3 TitleMy studies for our series “The Trinity” at Eastbrook plunged me into a lot of reading, reflecting, and praying. Along with a thorough study of Scripture on the nature of God as Trinity, I strongly recommend readings of the early Christian creeds, particular the Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian Formula.

However, I also turned to a lot of authors from different eras far more brilliant than me on this topic. At times people ask me whether I have books I recommend alongside of certain preaching series. I find that a difficult question to always answer briefly, so here is the bibliography I utilized for this series on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Bibliography on the Trinity:

Khaled Anatolios. Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

Athanasius. On the Incarnation with an Introduction by C. S. Lewis. Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2012.

Augustine. The Trinity. Trans. Edmund Hill. Brooklyn: New City Press, 1991.

Tim Chester. Delighting in the Trinity. Kregel Publications, 2005.

Mary T. Clark. “The Trinity in Latin Christianity,” pp. 276-290. In Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century. Ed. by Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff, and Jean Leclercq. New York: Crossroad, 1985.

Walter Elwell, ed. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001.

Gilles Emery and Matthew Levering, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Millard Erickson. Making Sense of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.

Timothy George, ed. God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006.

Kevin N. Giles. The Trinity and Subordinationism. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

________. Jesus and the Father. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.

Gregory of Nazianzus. On God and Christ: The Five Theological Orations and Two Letters to Cledonius. Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002.

Thomas Hopko. “The Trinity in the Cappadocians,” pp. 260-276. In Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century. Ed. by Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff, and Jean Leclercq. New York: Crossroad, 1985.

Robert W. Jenson. The Triune Identity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen. The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.

________. Christology: A Global Introduction, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.

________. Pneumatology: A Global Introduction, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018.

J. N. D. Kelly. Early Christian Doctrines. New York: Harper & Row, 1958.

Vladimir Lossky. The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Translated by the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. Cambridge: James Clark, 1957; reprint, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1976.

Roderick T. Leupp. The Renewal of Trinitarian Theology: Themes, Patterns and Explorations. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008.

Alister McGrath. Understanding the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990.

Bruce Milne. Know the Truth, third edition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999.

Jürgen Moltmann. The Trinity and the Kingdom. New York: Harper and Row, 1981.

Thomas C. Oden. Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology. New York: Harper One, 2009.

Karl Rahner. The Trinity. New York: Crossroad, 1997.

Michael Reeves. Delighting in the Trinity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012.

James B. Torrance. Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

A. W. Tozer. Knowledge of the Holy. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1961.

 

The Trinity: God the Father

When I returned from sabbatical I wanted our church to take ‘vision’ a level deeper than simply our personal vision or our church’s vision. I wanted us to return to the core vision of every believer and church, which is a transforming vision of the only awesome God.

I can never get over A. W. Tozer’s statement at the beginning of his book Knowledge of the Holy: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

So, I took us into an exploration of the life of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Here is the video and sermon outline of the first message, “God the Father.”

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

 

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