Worship and Bible Study
Suggested Devotional Reading for Tuesday, December 1:
Isaiah 40:21-26 (click to read online)
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By The Rev. Dr. Paul A. Leggett
Sunday, November 29, 2015 · First Sunday of Advent
Series: Facing Jesus: Living in the Truth/Neglected Doctrines and Popular Heresies
Text: Luke 1:5-20
Luke is writing to a specific audience. His gospel initially is addressed to an individual he refers to as “most excellent Theophilus.” Theophilus is a Greek name which, interestingly enough, means “lover of God.” This, however, would not be the true God but probably reflects the view of “God” in the Roman Empire (cf. Acts 14:8-18). In this opening section Luke is setting forth the message of the gospel not for the people of Israel but rather for the Gentiles of the Roman Empire. From the very beginning he is presenting the dynamics of the whole gospel message. Being righteous under the law is inadequate without faith. God’s Word overcomes fear and promises us joy, hope and salvation. God’s promises, past and present, are certain and will be fulfilled. Luke’s gospel is a story of two very different kinds of power, the power of Rome and the power of the gospel. As well as two very different saviors, Caesar and Jesus Christ. God’s message confronts the false hopes and beliefs of our world. Too often our doubts silence us. God’s Word, however, can never be silenced.
Read Colossians using study guides prepared by Paul Leggett.
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November 4, 2015
After his focus on the supremacy of Christ Paul now turns to both the hope and challenge that this sets up in the lives of believers. He reminds them of their past when they lived in rebellion against the true God. In this section Paul holds in tension two key and often apparently contrasting themes. On the one hand he emphasizes the role of grace, that solely through Christ we have been made ”holy and blameless and irreproachable.” But on the other hand we have the challenge to live out the faith we profess. Paul continues to amplify the theme that salvation is not a status or a possession but is rather a relationship to Christ. The “hope of glory” is Christ in us.