Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 4:11, Philippians 2:12–2:13, Philippians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:3–1:11, Philippians 3:12–3:14, Colossians 2:6–2:7, 1 Peter 2:1–2:3
Week two in a series that challenges us to a faith in Jesus that goes beyond one hour on Sunday and impacts our entire week.
Live 168 series
Last week we began a new series entitled “Live 168” with the goal for us to think differently about how we live out our faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of just limiting ourselves to a “one hour on a Sunday” approach, we want to strive to follow Jesus in such a way that our love for Him will permeate all of the 168 hours of each and every week we have. As a church we want to help you move in the direction of living a “Live 168" kind of life as a Christian.
1 John 4:11 NIV
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Grow: The Gospel Comes First
The Gospel is the cornerstone of our faith—Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross in our place for our sins. The Gospel isn’t for religious people trying to be good enough for God; it’s for desperate people like you and me who know we need His forgiveness. So with the Gospel, our standing with God isn’t riddled with insecurity, based upon our fickle, inconsistent attempts at keeping the rules; rather, it is firmly rooted in the complete and irreversible work of Jesus Christ. "It is finished” and there is now no longer any condemnation for everyone who knows Jesus personally as Savior and Lord. This is where we need to start.
Grow: The Role of Effort
Some Christians mistakenly believe that Gospel means that there’s no place whatsoever for human effort in the Christian life, and that it's just another form of legalism. While it's true that our effort can't merit God's acceptance, there's still a place for effort in the growth and maturity part of our relationship of Him. Our effort can’t gain a relationship with God, but our effort can help grow a relationship with God.
Grow: Three Approaches
Row Boat Christians: “all me, no God”
Speed Boat Christians: “all God, no me”
Sail Boat Christians: “God’s power, my cooperation”
A Row Boat approach to growth is unbiblical and ineffective. A Speed Boat approach is unbiblical and irresponsible. Only the Sail Boat approach is a biblical one. I don't make the boat go forward on my own, but I do have to work at positioning the sails so I can catch the wind. And so it is in the Christian life as it’s depicted in the Bible. God provides us power through His Holy Spirit, but I also have to put forth the effort needed to cooperate with Him. That effort is not a matter of me straining; it's a matter of me surrendering.
Philippians 2:12-13 NIV
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13 NLT
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Growth Steps - Connections
The primary purpose of our “Connections” study guide is take what you hear with the message on Sunday, and drive it deeper into your life for the rest of your week… and really, the rest of your life. "Connections" includes questions directly related to the message designed to make you think, help you learn, and encourage you to better live out your faith.
You can pick up a hard copy of "Connections" on Sundays: (1) On the black, Bible carts, by the two Auditorium doors; (2) Between the Auditorium double doors on the acrylic resource racks there; (3) At the Connect-Grow-Serve desk out in the lobby. We also make Connections available electronically: (1) On our Hopevale website through our "watch a service" page; (2) Through our Mobile App and the Connections icon; (3) At the bottom of these weekly You Version message notes.
Growth Steps - Classes
On Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and during the week, we offer several different kinds of Growth Classes, covering all sorts of Bible topics and life issues from a Christian perspective to help you grow. Two classes in particular are most important: (1) Foundations; (2) Following Jesus.
Both of these are six-week classes, that run for 90 minutes, and we offer these classes a couple times a year. If you’re ready to move beyond the Auditorium and learn more about what it means to be a Christian and how to grow as one, these classes are for you. We feel so strongly about these classes that we think everyone who calls Hopevale their church home should go through them. To heighten their priority, we’ve moved them to Sunday mornings (10:30am to 12noon) on North Campus in the Venue.
Growth Steps - RightNow Media
RightNow Media is a new discipleship tool called RightNow Media that we’re making available to everyone here at Hopevale. “RightNow Media” is like “Christian Netflix” with this huge library of faith-based videos designed for all ages that you can access whenever and wherever you want—your phone, your iPad, your computer, or even at home on your TV. But unlike Netflix, which is meant to entertain you and help you escape, RightNow Media is meant to encourage you, educate you, and equip you to become more of a “Live 168” follower of Jesus. We're also offering RightNow Media free to you.
If you’re already part of our church database, you should have received an email invitation earlier today. If you didn’t get one, it either means you’re not yet part of our database or maybe it got sent to your spam and you need to check your email filter. Assuming you did get it, just open the email, click the link, sign up for an account, and you’re all set to go. If you’ve got more questions or you’re not in our database, stop by the Connect-Grow-Serve desk and they’ll help you out.
RightNow Media link
You can use this quick link to sign up directly on our Hopevale website.
Connection Questions 9.25.16
The true test of Christian growth isn’t measured by perfect church attendance for one hour on Sunday every week. No, real Christian growth is about all 168 hours in our week.
1. Remember Pastor Dan’s example of the boats? Which boat are you? How do you tend to think about and pursue spiritual growth? Explain.
* Row boat = “My growth as a Christian is all on me, not on God.”
* Speed boat = “My spiritual growth depends entirely on God, not on me.”
* Sail boat = “My growth as a Christian happens with God’s power and my cooperation.”
2. What are the dangers of being a “row boat” or “speed boat” Christian? What have you seen or experienced?
3. Read these Scriptures together. In each passage, note the ways that God’s part and our part in our spiritual growth are described. According to these verses, how can we cooperate with God’s work in our lives?
* 2 Peter 1:3-11
* Philippians 3:12-14
* Colossians 2:6-7
* 1 Peter 2:1-3
4. What are some ways you'd like to grow as a Christian this year? Think of what you’d like to learn, experience on the inside (ex. more calm), and do.
5. Someone has said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” What can you do specifically to grow in the ways you identified above? What desire and power do you need from God to progress in these ways?