THE PROMISE OF CHRIST’S SECOND ADVENT: Acts 1:6-11

SCRIPTURE

ACTS 1:6-11 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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THE PROMISE OF A GREATER KING: Daniel 7:1-28

SCRIPTURE

DANIEL 7:1-28 1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.Daniel declared,[a]“I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

“As I looked,

thrones were placed,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
    and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
    its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
    and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
    and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
    and the books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel’s Vision Interpreted

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me[b]was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
    which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
    and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24 As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
    and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
    and shall put down three kings.
25 He shall speak words against the Most High,
    and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
    and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
    for a time, times, and half a time.
26 But the court shall sit in judgment,
    and his dominion shall be taken away,
    to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion
    and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
    shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
    and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’[c]

28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 7:2Aramaic answered and said
  2. Daniel 7:15Aramaic within its sheath
  3. Daniel 7:27Or their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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THE PROMISE OF A GREATER PRIEST: Zechariah 3:1-10

SCRIPTURE

ZECHARIAH 3:1-10 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.And the Lordsaid to Satan, “The Lordrebuke you, O Satan! The Lordwho has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lordwas standing by.

And the angel of the Lordsolemnly assured Joshua,“Thus says the Lordof hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lordof hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.10 In that day, declares the Lordof hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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THE PROMISE OF A GREATER PROPHET: Deuteronomy 18:15-22

SCRIPTURE

DEUTERONOMY 18:15-22 15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’17 And the Lordsaid to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken.18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lordhas not spoken?’—22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lordhas not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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WE EXIST TO PLANT CHURCHES: Matthew 28:18-20

SCRIPTURE

MATTHEW 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

This week’s Community Group discussion are the questions found in Study 3 in The Mission of the Church Study Guide.
*Get your own personal copy for free at the Ekklesia Building or by getting ahold of your Community Group leader. You can also view it online by clicking the photo below.

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PROMISED BEFOREHAND: the promise of a greater prophet, priest, and king

In the beginning of his letter to the Romans, Paul introduces himself as one “set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son.” We want to find these promises.

So join us this Advent as we look at what God promised beforehand about his Son, Jesus.

We will trace God’s Gospel through the Law, Prophets & Writings. We will anticipate with God’s people the coming of a great Prophet, Priest, & King. And we will look not only to the first coming of Jesus, but anticipate his glorious second advent.¹

 

 

¹ Shelton, Ryan. Promised Beforehand: Readings for Advent (back cover). Winnetka Bible Church. Kindle Edition.

WE EXIST TO LOVE CITIES: Luke 10:25-37

SCRIPTURE

LUKE 10:25-37 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

This week’s Community Group discussion are the questions found in Study 2 in The Mission of the Church Study Guide.
*Get your own personal copy for free at the Ekklesia Building or by getting ahold of your Community Group leader. You can also view it online by clicking the photo below.

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WE EXIST TO MAKE DISCIPLES: John 8:31-36

SCRIPTURE

JOHN 8:31-36 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

This week’s Community Group discussion are the questions found in Study 1 in The Mission of the Church Study Guide.
*Get your own personal copy for free at the Ekklesia Building or by getting ahold of your Community Group leader. You can also view it online by clicking the photo below.

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THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH: Make Disciples, Love Cities, Plant Churches

We believe local churches exist to make disciples, love cities, and plant churches that share the same vision.

We seek to make disciples of Jesus, in obedience to his commands.

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘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 of 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’” (Matthew 28:18-20). We believe a disciple is someone who has received a new identity from Jesus, by grace through faith, which leads to new activity for Jesus. The new identity we receive in Christ includes adoption into God’s family, forgiveness of sins, as well as being counted righteous before God. By God’s grace, this new identity leads to new activity. This new activity is summed up in one word: holiness. To be holy means to be set apart in obedience to God.

As we seek to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we all also seek to love our neighbor.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). We believe we should love our city through evangelism, prayer, and practical service. We strive to always be seeking the peace and prosperity of the city as a whole (Jeremiah 29:4-11), as well as loving our neighbors individually (Luke 10:25-37).

We plant churches so that more people will be saved by Jesus as well as grow in love and service to both God and neighbor.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We believe the promise of Acts 1:8 will be ultimately fulfilled by Jesus, through his church, as they obey the great commission. For Ekklesia, planting churches is a natural extension of Jesus’ command for us to make disciples of all nations.

In this short sermon series, we will focus on three passages to help answer the question what is the mission of the Church?

 

THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH STUDY GUIDE – view or download in PDF for free
(to view, click. to save, right click and hit “save as”)

CAN I LOSE MY SALVATION? PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: Romans 8:28-30

SCRIPTURE

ROMANS 8:28-30 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

This week’s Community Group discussion are the questions found in Study 5 in The Doctrines of Grace Study Guide.
*Get your own personal copy for free at the Ekklesia Building or by getting ahold of your Community Group leader. You can also view it online by clicking the photo below.

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