Pastor's Blog: "A Church Transformed by the Gospel"

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

We will begin a new sermon series on the book of Philippians this Sunday. I have titled the series “A Church Transformed by the Gospel." The book of Philippians is often associated with the theme of joy and Paul certainly mentioned joy frequently in the letter. However, as I read through the letter in preparation for the upcoming sermon series, I was struck by the ways in which Paul’s life was transformed powerfully by the good news of Jesus Christ.

Where I would be tempted to see only hardship and frustration if I were imprisoned because of my faithfulness to Jesus, Paul viewed his imprisonment as an opportunity to reach new people for Christ. Where I am tempted to look out only for my own interests, Paul challenged the Philippians to follow the example of Jesus Christ by humbly considering how God was calling each of them to look out for the interests of others. Where I am prone to judge my value and worth according to worldly measures of success, Paul testified that everything he had once held in high esteem was now worthless in comparison to knowing and living for Jesus. Where I can easily be filled with worry or anxiety when I look at circumstances in my life or challenges people face around the world, Paul experienced a peace that passed all understanding as he walked in the assurance that the Lord is at hand. Paul was powerfully transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is exciting to think of the ways God might transform each of us and our entire community of faith as we gain a greater appreciation of the good news of Jesus Christ. I hope you will make plans to participate in worship in person or via the livestream over the next four weeks. I also want to invite you to pray for yourself and for our church as we journey through the book of Philippians. Each week, we will provide you a model prayer in hopes that our hearts will be united as we pray together. Here is the prayer for the coming week:

Father, we come to you grateful for the hope of the gospel, and for how you have shown us your love in Jesus. We pray that your love might overflow in us, that we would love you with our whole hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves. Let that love show us how we ought to live in the world, giving us knowledge and wisdom as we seek to follow you and to live as your faithful witnesses as we wait for Christ’s return. Let that love make us humble, recognizing that all praise, honor, and glory belong to you. Amen.  

Our willingness to pray alongside one another as we begin this new sermon series is a way to acknowledge that nothing of lasting worth will take place in our worship apart from God’s gracious work among us. So, please pray for our church during these important days. I am hopeful that we will stand in awe of God’s grace and mercy as we see his hand at work among us.