Read: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, 25-38
This Sunday Pastor Jeremy will begin our endeavor into First Corinthians Seven, focusing on our call to be devoted to God whether we are married or single. Next Sunday will begin a four part series through Christmas entitled, “Born is the King.” We will then continue on in our First Corinthians series, picking back up in chapter Seven. As you prepare for our gathering this Sunday, let this prayer from The Valley of Vision guide your own and further encourage your devotion to Christ alone.
I bless thee for the happy moment
when I first say thy law fulfilled in Christ,
wrath appeased, death destroyed, sin forgiven,
my soul saved.
Ever since, thou hast been faithful to me:
daily have I proved the power of Jesus’ blood,
daily have I known the strength of the Spirit,
my teacher, director, sanctifier.
I want no other rock to build upon than that I have,
desire no other hope than that of gospel truth,
need no other look than that which gazes
on the cross.
Forgive me if I have tried to add anything
to the one foundation,
if I have unconsciously relied upon my knowledge,
experience, deeds, and not seen them
as filthy rags,
if I have attempted to complete what is perfect
May my cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus!
In him is freedom from condemnation,
fullness in his righteousness,
eternal vitality in his given life,
indissoluble union in fellowship with him;
In him I have all that I can hold;
enlarge me to take in more.
If I backslide,
let me like Peter weep bitterly and return to him;
If I am tempted, and have no wit,
give me strength enough to trust in him;
If I am weak,
may I faint upon his bosom of eternal love;
If in extremity,
let me feel that he can deliver me;
If driven to the verge of hope and to the pit
grant me grace to fall into his arms.
O God, hear me, do for me more
than I ask, think, or dream.
“The Life Look,” in The Valley of Vision
Setlist for Sunday
1. Raise Up the Crown (All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name), by Chris Tomlin
2. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord), by Matt Redman
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Arranged by Ronnie Morris
4. O Come Emmanuel, by Paul Baloche
Read: 1 Corinthians 6:1-20
This Sunday Pastor Ken will further teach how the cross shapes our lives and relationships as we consider, specifically, lawsuits among believers and sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians six. While both of these issues differ in function, they are rooted in the same rotten soil: man’s sinful, rebellious heart. With this in mind, Paul not only points out their sinful behavior but also reminds them that their sinful hearts have been washed clean by the blood of Christ, and now they are called to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. As you prepare for our corporate gathering, let the following words from Anthony Carter further encourage you.
When the Christians in Corinth were struggling to understand the difference Christ had made in them, the Apostle Paul gave a laundry list of sinful behaviors and reminded the Corinthians that the unregenerate, the unchanged, and those unmoved by the gospel would not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). But then he said: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”. He told them that their lives were to be morally distinct from the world, and yet they were not to understand him as calling them away from any contact with the world (5:10). The sanctifying blood of Christ makes a difference in our living in the presence of this world day to day.
So, the sanctifying blood of Christ makes all the difference in our being in the presence of God for eternity. The blood of Christ has secured our holiness in the sight of God. Because the blood of Christ has been shed for us, our position in the eyes of God is secure. We are in Christ, and we are holy as He is holy. Nevertheless, Christ is doing an ongoing work of making us practice what we have become positionally, namely, holy.
Excerpt from Blood Work, by Anthony Carter
Setlist for Sunday
1. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, by Daniel Renstrom
2. Joy Has Dawned, by Keith and Kristyn Getty
3. Grace and Peace, by Sovereign Grace
4. Jesus Saves, by Travis Cottrell
Advent is a season many Christians observe as a time of reflection and expectant waiting. For many, this season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives: celebrating the birth of the Messiah, and longing for his Second Coming.
The Advent season is an opportunity for the Church to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In preparation for Christmas, we want to point you to a free devotional App that follows the Advent calendar called The Expected One. This devotional is designed to unite families and foster spiritual conversations about Christ and the significance of His coming. “Tracing the promise of a Messiah through Old Testament stories and the message of the prophets, The Expected One stirs up a sense of anticipation for families who seek to focus their attention and affection on Christ during the holiday season.”
This app includes suggested songs to play during your devotional time, as well as a few great games that will help engage your children, including puzzles, coloring sheets, and flash cards. Currently, the App is free for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch). It is also available in the Google Play store for Android devices for $.99. Starting December 1, the App will be $.99 in the App Store as well. We encourage each of you to download the app and dive into the devotional individually if you are single, or lead your family through the devotional each day of Advent.
Post by: Krystal Brummitt, Generation-LINK
Read: 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Last Sunday from 1 Corinthians 4, Stephen showed us what a servant of Jesus Christ should look like. This week Pastor Ken will show us the importance of corrective church discipline from chapter 5. John Calvin said that the human heart is a “perpetual idol factory,” and we will see this week how church discipline is a means of purifying us and sustaining our devotion to Christ. As you prepare your heart for corporate worship, be encouraged by this excerpt taken from a sermon by John Piper.
The means of removing someone from the church is the mourning of humility, not pride. Biblical humility does not say, "We could never do that." On the contrary Paul says it is pride that resists putting the immoral man out.
Look at verse 6: "Your boasting (there's the pride) is not good." Why not? First, because it was rooted in ignorance. The verse goes on: "Do you not know (there's the ignorance) that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?" In other words, "In your supposed knowledge of grace and freedom you are destroying the church." They would have never dreamed that by boasting in grace and freedom they were corrupting and destroying the church from the inside out.
So Paul says in verse 7, "Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed." For a week after the Passover lamb was sacrificed in Israel the house was supposed to be free from all leaven, all yeast. Paul takes this as a picture of sin in the church. Christ is now our Passover Lamb. And our Passover celebration does not last one week but for a lifetime. The leaven of sin is to be put out permanently. We never make peace with sin again. We fight it and confess it and flee it and never boast in its presence.
But the pride at Corinth was saying, "Christ has been sacrificed for our sins, therefore we can sin and grace will abound." But Paul said, "Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed, therefore clean out the old leaven."
The pride of Corinth was that they presumed to cut Christ asunder. They thought they could have him as one who pardons and reject him as one who purifies.
To that Paul gives a clear answer in verse 7: No. But "clean out the old leaven, that you may be" what you really are in Christ—unleavened and pure. For if you do not act like what you are, you aren't. The proof of your pardon is your passion for purity.
Adapted from the sermon, How Satan Saves the Soul, by John Piper, September 5, 1993.
Setlist for Sunday
On Friday, November 8th Crosspoint Church hosted an “Evangelism Training” to equip believers to proclaim the gospel and make disciples. To find the audio and notes from the event, please visit our Evangelism Equip Night page. A portion of this training was devoted to responding to questions from the audience, but unfortunately we did not have enough time to answer all of those questions. This first post contains responses to several of those questions.
“How do I start or initiate "The Story” in conversation?”
There is no one right way to generate conversations on spiritual matters. A question I often use is, “in your opinion do you think man is basically good or basically bad?” This question allows me to understand a person’s view of man, which can lead me to their view of God. Ninety-five percent of the time they will say man is good, which means man must have been created good (Gen. 1:31). You can follow this question with “if man is basically good, then why do so many people do bad things,” which leads to discussing the Fall.
With these questions you can lead the conversation to God’s initial design in Genesis 1 and 2, but then man rebelled against God in Genesis 3. Once you mention Creation and Fall the conversation will naturally lead to our need for Rescue, which allows you to proclaim Jesus Christ and his Redemption for us if we repent and believe in him. I would recommend Randy Newman’s book “Questioning Evangelism” if you want to learn other ways and questions to transition conversations to the gospel.
“As a bio major, I'm daily faced with challenges of the Gospel, specifically creation. How do I approach questions from non-believers on this subject?”
I can fully relate to this question, because I was a biology major when I was a non-believer, and I would often question Christians specifically on this topic. The first thing we need to remember is that Christ did not command us to proclaim reasons for creationism or evidence against Darwinian evolution, but he commanded us to proclaim the his saving grace (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 4:1-2). Because of this it is beneficial to start with a person's sinful position before God instead of evolution or creationism. Non-believers will not turn to Christ unless they believe they are in desperate need of a savior.
In my own life I was hardened to the gospel because I didn't believe I needed a savior and therefore I rebelled against God and the Bible. I was blinded to the truth until God used a few faithful Christians to talk with me about my sin and the hope of Jesus Christ. It was through those conversations and relationships that I heard the gospel and was transformed by it. Once I believed in Christ and submitted to his authority I studied the scriptures with other Christians, and my attitudes and beliefs changed from a secular mindset to a biblical mindset.
So my advice would be to love your friends who are biology and science majors. Invite them to be a part of your life so that they see how your life involves Christ, and tell them how the risen Son of God has transformed your life (2 Cor. 5:17). And finally pray for them. Pray that God will work through you as you witness to them.
*A resource that would be beneficial for answering question about Darwinian evolution would be Lee Strobel’s “The Case for a Creator.”
“How do we connect the gospel message to people who either don't want to hear it or think it's foolishness?”
I believe these are the most common responses when I evangelize on the Clemson campus. People normally don't want to talk about God, or they think Christians are foolish for believing the Bible. My suggestion is that we need to counter theses attitudes with love. We should talk with people and find out why they feel hostile to God or the church. When we speak with them it should not be with an agenda to convert them but to love on them. I am not saying that we should not desire their conversion, but that our desire for their conversion will naturally lead us to love them. This does not mean accepting their rebellion against God, but tolerating their lack of faith.
This means that we should seek to know them and to know what they do believe. I normally ask questions about what they believe of God, death, Jesus, truth, etc., and why they believe what they believe. Most of the time you will find that they don't know exactly what they believe, and they have very little Bible knowledge. I then use that information as an opening to ask them if they would be open to investigate the Bible and to see if the Bible gives answers to their questions.
If they are willing to explore the Bible, then God has given you a great opportunity to proclaim the gospel with his own words. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers to their questions, because the Bible does. Use those moments to create other times to meet up so that you both have time to investigate the Bible further for those answers.
Invite them to coffee, lunch, breakfast, so that they feel welcomed and comfortable, and pick up the tab! Show them that you care for them. Give them your time and your love, just as Christ did for us (Matt. 20:28). Also, tell them your own testimony of how you came to believe and trust in Christ, and ask them if they can relate to your testimony in any way.
“How do you share the gospel with someone who goes to church and claims to be a Christian but doesn’t seem to really know the gospel and doesn't live it out?”
This is a great question because we can easily think everyone who attends a church service is a Christian. A great place to start is asking them to share their testimony with you. Ask them how long they have been a Christian, and how they came to the faith. Be careful not to do this accusingly, but joyfully because it is joyful to give testimony of God’s work in our life (1 Cor. 1:4-9). After you hear their testimony you will hopefully be able to better discern if they are a believer or a non-believer, though we need to be careful not to judge a person to quickly as a non-believer, because they might merely be weak in the faith (1 Cor. 3:1-3).
If you are still concerned if they are a non-believer, or if they seem weak in the faith, invite them to study the Bible with you and let the Word do the work (Heb. 4:12). Ask them if they would start meeting with you once every week or every other week to pray together and read through the Bible. If they say yes then you are pursuing discipleship. If they say no then continue to love on them and pray for them. Invite them into your home and show them how you are pursuing God. I would also recommend speaking with your pastor especially if they are a member of your church.
*A few resources to use for daily Bible reading are David Helm’s “One-to-One Bible Reading,” Ken Ham & Bodie Hodge’s “Begin: A Journey through Scriptures for Seekers and New Believers,” and Kent Hughes’ “Disciplines of a Godly Man.”
I hope these responses have been beneficial for you. I know that each of these questions could merit their own blog post. I would encourage you to continue to resource yourself with good books that are gospel centered, so that you are “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pt 3:15).
I will post the remaining questions from the training in Part II of this blog post, but until then feel free to send me comments or questions that you might have regarding evangelism at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you have a blessed day.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Sean Alford, Generation LINK
Read: 1 Corinthians 4
Last Sunday from 1 Corinthians 3, Pastor Ken showed us the foundation of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw that our works will be made manifest and will be tested as with fire, and anything built upon any foundation other than Christ will be burned up and disappear. This week Stephen Watson will be preaching from chapter 4, showing us that servants of Christ live faithful lives, model lives similar to Christ, and commit their lives to making disciples. As you prepare for our corporate gathering this Sunday, be encouraged in the gospel with this text from Oswald Chambers.
"We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things" (1 Corinthians 4:13b, ESV).
These words are not an exaggeration. The only reason they may not be true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot or misunderstood the exact truth of them, but that we are too cautious and concerned about our own desires to allow ourselves to become the refuse or “[scum] of the world.” “Fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ . . .” (Colossians 1:24) is not the result of the holiness of sanctification, but the evidence of consecration-being “separated to the gospel of God . . .” (Romans 1:1).
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you . . .” (1 Peter 4:12). If we do think the things we encounter are strange, it is because we are fearful and cowardly. We pay such close attention to our own interests and desires that we stay out of the mire and say, “I won’t submit; I won’t bow or bend.” And you don’t have to— you can be saved by the “skin of your teeth” if you like. You can refuse to let God count you as one who is “separated to the gospel . . . .” Or you can say, “I don’t care if I am treated like ’the filth of the world’ as long as the gospel is proclaimed.” A true servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to experience martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a moral person is confronted with contempt, immorality, disloyalty, or dishonesty, he is so repulsed by the offense that he turns away and in despair closes his heart to the offender. But the miracle of the redemptive reality of God is that the worst and the vilest offender can never exhaust the depths of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His Son in me. . .” (Galatians 1:16).
February 3rd Reading from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers
Set List for Sunday
1. He is Exalted, by Shane and Shane
2. Bless Your Holy Name, by Nick Nichols
3. Jesus Paid it All, by Kristian Stanfill
4. Doxology, by Thomas Ken
5. Grace and Peace, by Sovereign Grace
When I was a college student I heard this advice repeated frequently: “Make the most of your summers. Use them for God’s kingdom! This is a unique season of life and will most likely be the only time you have to take advantage of mission opportunities that are weeks or months long.”
The summer after my junior year, I had the privilege of being a part of the first Summer LINK in Hilton Head, SC. I spent 10 weeks in Hilton Head with about 30 other staff and students working a job (the one and only time in my life I’ve been a waitress!), living in community, studying God’s Word, and learning how to engage the lost. Looking back on that summer, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I decided to do Summer LINK. I can think of many theological discussions, hard days at work, gospel conversations, and deep friendships that shaped and sanctified me and, by God’s grace, made me more like Christ.
I know it can be easy to get caught up in pressures to focus on school or work or internships (and for some of you that may be what God is calling you to do). But for many of you, would you prayerfully consider how God is calling you to fulfill the Great Commission with your summer? Jesus says in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and if the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” How does God want you to be a part of His commission to make disciples this summer? Personally, when I look back on my time in college I’m so thankful I heeded the advice I heard and did Summer LINK. I have no regrets!
Summer LINK 2008 | Taken in Hilton Head, SC
Summer LINK 2013 | Taken in Myrtle Beach, SC
Since the first Summer LINK in 2008, I have been able to participate or help lead Summer LINKs for the last five years in Hilton Head, Raleigh, and India. Here are a few (of the many!) reasons I’ve found Summer LINK to be so valuable in my life and in the lives of numerous other students:
- You experience intentional discipleship and theological training. I have experienced discipleship in a variety of forms through Summer LINK. Bible studies, one-on-one mentorship, and weekly church services are major ways the Lord can grow and develop you during Summer LINK.
- You gain valuable ministry and leadership experience. Whether you’re working with a church plant in Seattle, teaching children English in Honduras or on staff for the summer at Crosspoint in Clemson, you will gain valuable ministry experience. You will come alongside of the missionaries or church planters in your location and play an essential role in serving them and advancing their ministry. Whether you plan to go into ministry, the secular workplace, or more school when you finish college, Summer LINK will prepare you to live on mission and share the gospel wherever you are. In addition, when the summer is over, you will have the blessing of knowing the ministry you began will be carried on long after you’re gone through the local church or missionaries you worked with!
- You live in gospel community. Community is vital to our growth. We need to “stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). You’ll grow so much from living together, doing ministry together, studying the Word together, and laughing and having fun together! Some of my closest friends, friends I know will be lifelong friends, have come from Summer LINK. And who knows, you may even meet your spouse (we’ve seen it happen a few times)!
Interested? Here are a few action steps for you:
- Come to the Free College Luncheon after either the 9 or the 11am service on Sunday, November 24th in room 180. We’ll be serving lunch and sharing more about our Summer LINK and one year residencies.
- Check out Generation-LINK.org. Go ahead and start your application (even if you’re not certain yet!).
- Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on what’s new with Generation LINK.
Post by Jenna Wayment | Generation LINK Assistant Director
As a worship team we are always faced with the challenge of wisely choosing songs that both edify our congregation and are audibly appealing. There is an almost limitless supply of songs to use in our corporate worship, songs that point and orient us to Christ. The wonderful waterfall of worship music never stops. Unfortunately, it is hard to choose songs that appeal and minister effectively to everybody, especially in a congregation our size. In an effort to have songs that are Christ-centered and minister effectively to our congregation, we have scheduled two writing weekends where some of our musicians will be getting together to write songs that are specifically, though not exclusively, for our church.
With that in mind I would like to invite and encourage our church members to send us material. This could be in the form of poetry, lyrical musings, favorite passages of Scripture, or songs that you’ve written. As a worship team it is our job to serve our church well and we desire to sing songs that our church is eager to sing. What better songs could we possibly sing than songs that we as a unified body have written? No musical skills required. No poetic skills necessary. Just the affections and directions of a heart submitted to Christ. As a team of musicians we will surround and welcome any ideas and seek to apply them musically. This way, our church will not only have something to sing genuinely from our own heart but will also feel ownership and responsibility for the musical worship of our church. Our band members are just as much a part of our congregation as any other member and we desire to provide our congregation an opportunity to lead us in worship by singing to the Lord a new song.
If you have anything you would like to submit or any questions you would like to ask, please email me at email@example.com.
We are thoroughly exited to join in this endeavor together.
Written by Jonathan Whittle | Generation LINK
Read: 1 Corinthians 3:1-23
Last week Pastor Ken showed us that God’s wisdom has been revealed to those who are spiritual people, those whom God has caused to be born again, and how God’s wisdom has been concealed to the spiritually blind. This week Ken will continue in our 1 Corinthians series, walking us through chapter 3. We will see that God is our sustainer, and it is he that ensures Gospel-growth in our hearts. Therefore, trusting in our own strength is futile in light of the grace we’ve received in Christ. In addition, we will observe the Lord's Supper this Sunday. As you prepare your hearts for corporate worship and the breaking of bread together, be encouraged with this excerpt from Jim Hamilton’s book, God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment.
Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 1-4 that God has outmatched worldly power through the weakness of the cross, perplexing human wisdom with its folly. God has triumphed through what the world thinks is weakness and folly (1:25), and he has chosen those who are not impressive by worldly standards (1:26-28). This means that no human being can boast about his own understanding or power (1:29), and there is no place for Christians to exalt themselves by identifying with their favorite teacher (1:12-13; 3:4-9). The gospel means that all people are helpless before God, that Christ is everything to believers (1:30), and that humans have nothing that they have not received (4:7). The only thing to boast in is the Lord (1:31), and when everyone thinks this way, the church will be unified (1:10).
These chapters of 1 Corinthians, then, condemn worldly standards of evaluation so that members of the Corinthian church will be delivered from the wisdom that God will destroy (1:19). Through this judgment on worldly wisdom, Paul wants the Corinthians to know the wonders of the gospel, which no one expected (2:7-13). God will catch the wise in their craftiness (3:19), judging their proud speculations. Meanwhile those who follow the apostles will suffer and then be exalted (4:9-16). God’s glory is shown in the display of apostolic weakness (4:9-13), and Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate him so that God’s glory will be seen in their weakness (4:16). By passing judgment against human strength and wisdom, Paul seeks to deliver the Corinthians to the glory of the cross, the glory of God’s weakness and folly that is stronger and wiser than men (1:18-25).
Excerpt from God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, by Jim Hamilton
Set list for Sunday
1. Forever Reign, by Hillsong Live
2. Cornerstone, by Hillsong Live
3. When You Move, by Sovereign Grace
4. There Is A Fountain, by Selah
Over the past 7 weeks we as a student ministry went through a new series called “Soul”. Soul took us through the book of Mark and really hitting on the life of Christ. It was a great series that really allowed the students to connect with the Gospel of Christ. We started out on the first week with defining Christianity and teaching that it’s all about Christ and His saving work on the cross. The way that “Soul” is set up really allows for good discussion among the students and leaders. After defining Christianity, we discussed the Identity of Christ, who He was and the authority and power He has to forgive sin and heal the sick. Mark 2:1-12 was the passage with the paralytic man lowered through the roof. We then hit on God’s mission and trying to show the students that the biggest problem the world faces is sin and how God sent His son to rescue us from sin and put us on mission for His glory. Mark 12:28-31 was the passage we read from concerning the greatest commandment of loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
The following 3 weeks we hit the cross, the resurrection, and grace. These weeks were huge weeks for us to really have the opportunity to show the students what was done for them through and by Jesus in the crucifixion. It was a great opportunity to hit on the cross and the necessity for Jesus’ death and simply try to get the point across of the weight and impact the cross should have on our lives. The resurrection allowed us to express that Jesus overcame sin, death and the grave, that through Him we can also overcome sin, death, and the grave. Finally, we touched on God’s grace and implications of what God’s grace does for us, that God’s grace is a free gift, that we can do nothing to earn it, that Jesus paid the price for us to receive this grace, that we now live for Him who gave it all for us to be in eternal worship of God. Our last week hopefully pushed out students to be on mission with the question “So what now?” We really pushed this idea of we have Christ, we know the gospel, we know what needs to be done, so what am I going to do with what has been entrusted to me?
All in all, it was a great series to go through. I know as a leader and teacher, I got a lot out of it and I feel the students did also. The Lord has been so good to provide us with so many good leaders, resources, and students who want to love the Lord, they just need some guidance and direction of practical application of God’s word in their lives. The has provided us with a Savior who desires to save sinners, to heal the sick, to rescue us from death.
Written by Josh Davis, Generation LINK