Paul, the Prisoner and Servant

What Is a Church?
Ephesians 3:1-7
Matthew Raley (10-23-11)

In Ephesians 3:1, Paul starts to pray about the high things of the hope of salvation, the riches of the Church, and the Father’s power.  But he stops short.  He needs to explain more about his own role in the unfolding of God’s plan.  As he does, we learn much about what it means to be a Kingdom person, which is central to answering our question, “What is a church?”

Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 5:39 am  Leave a Comment  

The Temple in the Spirit

What Is a Church?
Ephesians 2:19-22
Matthew Raley (10-16-11)

In Psalm 118, the people rejoice to see that a stone which the builders once rejected has been made “the chief cornerstone”.  In Ephesians 2, Paul uses the imagery of this Psalm to describe Christ as the chief cornerstone of a new temple being built by God.  Today, as we continue asking the question: “What is a church?” we will explore this imagery, another expression of our unity in Christ alone, and the possibility that people may still be looking for other cornerstones.

Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 5:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Christ Is Our Unity

What Is a Church?
Ephesians 2:14-18
Matthew Raley (10-9-11)

While churches tend to see themselves as being “near” to God and having goodwill to those who are “far”, outsiders often do not feel this compassion, viewing it as born of  hypocrisy and arrogance.  As we continue to discuss the question, “What is a church?” today’s text speaks to one of the biggest problems facing churches in America today – bridging the gap between those who are “far off” and those who are “near”.

Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 5:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Those Who Were Far Off

What Is a Church?
Ephesians 2:11-13
Matthew Raley (10-2-11)

The word church has become a source of confusion for many in our day.  Is it a building, or is it a family?  What sort of model should it follow?  Should it be like a mall with a little of something for everyone; or entertaining, like a rock concert or a TV show?  Perhaps it should be like a coffee shop, a place to meet, engage in dialogue, and form community.

It is essential that we figure out what a church is, because here at Grace Brethren Church we are in the process of restarting one.  It is a process that involves bonding people with many points of view into one community. In order to figure this out we must challenge our assumptions about church and yield our ideas to what the Scriptures teach.

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

16 Reasons to Refocus on the Bible

The Sufficiency of Scripture
Matthew Raley (9-25-11)

Here at Grace Brethren we are in midst of a relaunching process.  We are beginning a new season of ministry with the goal of becoming a community that makes disciples.  In order to carry out this vision, it is essential that we return the Bible to the center of our individual lives and the life of the church, where it deserves to be.

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment