The marriage bond will defy all attempts at formulaic tidiness. You who are married might have begun to suspect as much. With all the heated debate about complementarian this and egalitarian that (what?), and the meaning of “head” and the parsing of “be subject to,” it’s easy to lose the voice of the Spirit inviting you to sit in the paradox and be formed by it. God’s word predates our ways of seeing the world. Paul calls it a mystery. Submission leads to authority, leadership results in submission. Will a wife submit to her husband? Then let her husband lift her to places of authority just as Christ commissioned Mary to evangelize about the risen Lord. Will a husband lead his wife? Then let him from her learn how to submit as Christ submitted to the cross.
Re:Verse passage –Romans 8:15-17, Ephesians 5:22-32 (day two) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Vs. 16b-17
Have you ever felt left out of a group? Even if it was one that you belonged to, you just didn’t feel like you were good enough, strong enough, or successful enough to really fit in. This may trigger some unresolved angst from a Middle School clique, but the reality is that we have all felt “on the outside” at some point in our lives.
The Apostle Paul understands what this feels like, and wants to make sure we don’t bring that kind of ‘in or out’ mindset to our faith. Paul fought for the inclusion of Gentiles into full fellowship not scraps and bits. Trusting and following Jesus gives us an all-access pass into his fellowship. Are you living like that?
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Romans 8:15-17, Ephesians 5:22-32 in our Summer Re:Verse Series: “Better Together.”
Today we celebrate the start of Better Together. If you have been around this church for a minute, you recognize this. We learn together. We laugh together. We worship together. We dream together. We pray together. We play together. Through this series we will do all these things (maybe even all of them today). Yet, this isn’t new information. This is an intentional time for us to remind one another of how special it is to be together.
What is it that you need to be reminded of? Do you need to be reminded that you have a family that you can lean on in your days of struggle? Do you need to be reminded that you have a place in this church to serve with your gifts? Do you need to be reminded that you are not alone inside and outside of these walls? On this Pentecost Sunday, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of how and why He led you to FBCSA. Each of us will have different answers on how we got to this place, but I would guess all of us will answer the why in a similar way: we are Better Together!
One of the biggest hangups in the life of the Corinthian church was an inaccurate picture of what it meant to be a spiritual person. Coming out of a culture of pagan worship where ecstatic personal experiences (like speaking in tongues) where elevated, it was no surprise that this became a superior value in their church. For them spirituality had little to do with daily Holy Spirit-led living, connecting with others, or fulfilling God’s mission, but rather, regularly experiencing the more charismatic gifts.
Sound familiar? There is a strong temptation in contemporary Christian church culture (and has been for some time) to define spirituality in similar ways. If we are not mindful, our “spiritual” lives can be totally disconnected from daily life, and yet we can still consider ourselves spiritual because we love singing those hymns, or we are moved to raise our hands when the band plays the right song.
Paul says, this ought not be so. True spirituality is when the Holy Spirit guides us through all of life; this can take shape with or without heightened “spiritual” experiences.
“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”
We value the worth and dignity of others because we can attribute who they are to the fact that they are created and loved by God. Scripture makes this very clear. Who they are is less a mystery and something we easily understand. Along with “who”, scripture can also answer the “where” question as well.God places believers exactly where he wants and desires.There is intentionality and precision. As you look around the sanctuary this Sunday, does that thought and insight cause you to think about the other members of this body (FBCSA) differently. With care and confidence, God places people in His church to worship, serve, fellowship, and minister.He has done that for them and for you (me). That’s cause to celebrate and encourage all the members of the Body of Christ.
There is no better picture of the body of Christ than Paul’s description here in Corinthians. Set in context, Paul is answering some of the problems and conflicts in the Corinthian church with a description of how the healthy church is supposed to look like and act like. As we embark on this new study of Better Together, we are trying to paint an accurate picture of how we function as a New Testament church and how we can best accomplish God’s mission for our church.
When we have completed this study, each member should not only know that God’s assignment is best carried out in community with one another, but also what being a member of First Baptist Church San Antonio means in belief and actions. We need each other…we need each other pulling in the same direction and not just everyone doing their own thing. We are seeking God’s blueprint in Scripture and dedicating ourselves to being obedient to His Word. Will you join us? We are better together!
“If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.”
In the local fellowship, what happens when grief or hardship or loss descends on the life of a person in that fellowship? In a physical body, injury means that a person will limp in order to spare a wounded foot further pain. There is no shame in a limp; a limp isn’t a defect, but rather a tender response to trauma. The human body will not attempt full range of movement and pretend there is no agony. In the church body, a limp will take various forms. But when a church insists on pretending it doesn’t need to limp, it denies the pain of those in its midst. On the other hand, a church that exists as a wounded body in this world is living in beautiful imitation of its Lord.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. vs. 26
Learning the value of something is a good skill to have. We should be able to discern a good deal when making a purchase. We should know how to tell when something is beyond its expiration date, both literally and figuratively. These are good life skills. As they apply to the body of Christ things aren’t as cut and dried. Whereas we all need to know how we have been gifted and called. We should seek to find where will best fit the fellowship. What we cannot do is determine that someone doesn’t fit, doesn’t matter, doesn’t belong. We just don’t get that privilege. We can all grow in our walk if we will begin celebrating the myriad ways God has created the body of believers to work together. Whether that person is the senior pastor, the Sunday School teacher, or the individual greeting visitors in the parking lot each week; everyone matters. When we shine in how we are created, the body shines. Let us look for ways in this next thirteen weeks and beyond to shine.