The Trust Issue

God Spoke for Himself
2 Peter 1
Matthew Raley (2-3-13)

All of us have encountered a leader who appeared to have it all, and have said to ourselves, “This is it!” but then everything goes wrong.  Many people are struggling to recover from their trust having been broken in this way.

We at Grace Brethren Chico are beginning to define ourselves in a more specific way by adopting a statement of beliefs.  In today’s message we will look at the first point in this statement:

1. God spoke to human beings in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments (Hebrews 1:1-2). He moved the authors to choose every word in their original writings (2 Peter 1:16-21) in order to reveal his plan for the world completely and without error (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Because the Bible comes from God, it is the authority over all human knowledge and behavior (John 12:47-50; Hebrews 4:12-13). We are called to believe what it teaches, obey what it commands, and trust what it promises.

We believe that spiritual authority does not rest in human beings or in human institutions.  All are accountable to the Bible because God spoke for himself.

Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Is Doctrine Applied to Life, Part 2

Why Our Beliefs Matter
John 3:1-21
Matthew Raley (1-27-13)

John’s Calvin begins his Institutes this way: “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.”

In our exploration of how doctrine applies to life from John 3, we have seen that Nicodemus holds a doctrine that makes connection with Jesus impossible. His doctrine organizes how he thinks about God and himself.  Nicodemus thinks that because he is a son of Abraham, he and his party, the Pharisees, are approved by God, and await God’s vindication of the Jewish people. Nicodemus and his party think that Jesus will join them, but he won’t.

In today’s message we will see how Jesus confronts Nicodemus’s doctrine, and how he applies the true doctrine to Nicodemus’s life.

Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Is Doctrine Applied to Life?

Why Our Beliefs Matter
John 3:1-21
Matthew Raley (1-20-13)

In light of last week’s sermon, let’s suppose that you’re open to learning more about doctrine, and that you see the importance of stating our beliefs openly as a church. Let’s also suppose that you agree that doctrine forms bonds of fellowship between Christians. Still, you may need to know more about how our beliefs help us bond emotionally and change the way we live. In today’s message we will be asking the question: How do I get from a true statement about God to right relationships with God and the people around me? How do I make that connection?

We will begin this discussion with the famous conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3. We’ll see that Nicodemus held a doctrine that kept him from bonding with Jesus. We’ll also see that Jesus would not excuse Nicodemus for holding that doctrine. Next week, we’ll see more specifically how this doctrinal confrontation worked by getting behind Jesus’ reasoning—that is, the way he moved from one thought to another.

Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment