February 14, 2016 – Acts: Jesus is the Focus

Preached by Rod Benner (00:45)

Rod continues a study in the book of Acts.

So many divisions spring up in the Church because we trust more in the facts we know and in others who agree with those facts rather than focusing primarily on the Son of God. God raises up leaders and saints with unique and uncommon gifts and abilities in order to strengthen, move, and encourage the Church on a large scale. He does not equip these men and women to split us into divisions and camps of who’s more right and who’s more wrong. He wants all of his disciples to follow him.

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, he entrusted the gospel message into the hands and efforts of men and women. He continues to empower and guide us through his Spirit until he physically and visibly returns sometime in the future. Every good work of ours should point anyone to Jesus. We are entrusted and will be equipped to move the gospel forward through love and relationship with one another. Jesus’ disciples show him to us, but it is Jesus to whom we look for salvation and purpose in life.

Scripture references: Acts 1:9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

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November 22, 2015 – Philippians: Beware of the Pack

Preached by Rod Benner (00:46)

Rod continues his study of Philippians.  As a fellowship grows in unity and community impact, the danger of self destruction increases.  It can begin by false doctrine and anti-gospel teaching subtly coming into the church body.  It can begin by hurt feelings or differing opinions. Starting as a quiet comment but then it balloons into a perceived crisis.  Carpet color becomes a dividing point.  More seriously, lies masquerading in the name of God captivate a group inside the fellowship and tear the larger group apart.  Rarely does a local church collapse because of outside attacks.  Sadly, it collapses on itself because a once united group of friends turn on each other.  They stop seeing the love of God in their own lives and start seeing the major sins and minor problems in each others’ lives.  The Apostle Paul told the local church in Philippi to “Watch out for those dogs” who seek to divide.

Intentional division is not to be taken lightly. The solution by wise disciples is not to fuel the division, rather it is to faithfully lead and set the example of Jesus’ love, forgiveness and vision.  Discerning church leaders protect their fellowship from the pack of wild dogs.  Good followers follow the example of a good leader; Jesus being the Chief leader. But it is difficult and it requires the intentional guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The pack is always prowling. Therefore, love intensely and forgive often.  Rise up on the side of Christ.

Scripture References: Philippians 3:2-4

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