As we begin 2014, MorningStar is taking a month to examine the key teachings of Jesus to the church that are to define who we are and how we live in this world. This first message looks at Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission, seeking to understand and act upon Jesus words to go and make disciples.
Matthew records the genealogy of Jesus Christ through Joseph. Though there appears to be increased interest these days in uncovering our family tree, there still seems to be a general disinterest when it comes to understanding why there are genealogies in the Scriptures. Perhaps this is related to our misunderstanding of the value of uncovering the riches of our spiritual family tree. Matthew’s genealogy records over 40 male names and 5 women. The presence of any women is unusual and would have been culturally controversial, but the presence of these 5 women borders on scandalous. For some reason God, through Matthew, included these 5 women in the genealogy of Jesus, drawing our attention to their stories found in the pages of Scripture. Through the stories of these women we learn that sometimes God works His will in the midst of the whispers of scandal, illuminating His grace.
Genesis 38 is a sad story of what happens when people live self-centered lives, that are nearly void of any concern for one another or for God. By the end of the story everyone has in some way wronged everyone else and there is not a person in sight who walks away unscathed or un-scarred by the selfish acts of themselves and others. Yet, both Judah and Tamar are included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 1. Why would God draw anyone’s attention to such a sad story? In the midst of this mess we find a truth worth treasuring, that what God purposes He will perform.
“Christian” seems to be a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. It seems as though everyone thinks they’re a Christian today and at the same time everyone wants nothing to do with the term. We find the word planted in front of everything from our nation to music to amusement parks. But what does it really mean to call ourselves “Christian”? Is there any clear answer out there to this question? What does the Bible have to say, if anything, about it? Though the word “Christian” is found only three times in the New Testament the Bible has a great deal to say about what it really means to call ourselves “Christian.” If we claim that title as our own then it means we are a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ completely devoted to His will and seeking to please Him above all else. Time and again the New Testament affirms this through the use of the most frequently used phrase designating followers of Jesus Christ: doulos of God or of Christ. This series will take a look at that phrase and its implications for our day to day lives.
When Jesus invited people to be His followers of disciples, what exactly did He mean, and how did those who were His earliest followers understand His request and live it out? A survey of the New Testament reveals many terms and phrases that identify followers of Jesus Christ and each helps us understand what it means to be a Christian. Yet, one metaphor is used more frequently than any other. It is doulos of God or of Christ. As we look at the meaning of this phrase and how early followers of Jesus applied it to themselves it becomes clear what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian demands that I devote myself completely to Christ as His slave.
This mini-series will look at two passages from the book of Matthew in which Jesus addresses the relationship between the old and the new. As we dig into these two parables of Jesus we will gain valuable insight about our attitude to both the new and the old. Audio and outlines of these two messages can be found by clicking on the following link, http://www.morningstardayton.org/resources/audio/series/info/something-old-something-new