Grace and Truth in Our Church
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: John 13:34–13:35
Perceptions of Church
People see church as a place of: rules and rituals; hate and hypocrisy; comparison and competition; bullying and boredom. To many, it's a place that’s no longer relevant to the way we live today.
John 13:34-35 NIV
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Matthew 11:28-29 NIV
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
The Church should be...
(1) Welcoming to the weary; (2) A place of rest for the soul; (3) Gentle and humble
(1) Welcoming to the weary
We live in a world filled with weary and burdened people, and that includes Christians. From past mistakes to present trials to future anxieties, there is a collective weariness out there and no one is exempt. The church needs to be a place where the inviting words of Jesus come to life.
(2) Place of rest for the soul
There is a difference between “a community of grace and truth” versus a “performance-based religious body.” All the perceptions people have of the church (rules, rituals, hate, hypocrisy, bullying, boredom) were the very things Jesus fought against during His earthly ministry when He confronted the religious establishment of the day.
Matthew 23:3-4 NIV
So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
(3) Gentle and humble
Gentleness and humility are the evidence of a life changed by grace. When grace takes root in a human heart, you will find sincere gentleness and authentic humility. And when our lives are saturated with the grace and truth of Jesus, there’s no room for things like a judgmental spirit or a superior attitude.
Community Groups are...
… small groups of 8-15 people that typically meet in homes all around our area to build friendship, help one another grow in Christ, and serve Him together.
Why Community Groups
We need close Christian friends to reach our full potential in Christ. CGs provide supportive friends who encourage us and help us grow by applying the Sunday worship and teaching to real life.
Getting Involved in a Group
(1) Ask people you know at Hopevale about their Community Group. (2) Use our new Find a Group tool through My Community. (3) Visit the Adults Desk for help and more info.
Connections Study Guide
You can find our weekly Connections in the bulletin and on our website (both in the Online Sermons section and the Connections tabs under Adults).