Sunday Services at 9:30 and 11:00 am
Grace Summit Community Church is a nondenominational church which focuses on authentically living out what the Bible teaches. It’s also a church with a big heart—toward its members, guests, and those in our community.
Grace Summit leadership and members desire to make a difference in our world by demonstrating through our lives that God is real, that He loves people and that He wants a relationship with each person. The mindset of “making room for more” underlies the plans and activities of Grace Summit as we strive to include and connect with more people in all we do. We’d love to have you be a part of what God is doing here at Grace Summit!
This Week's Message
When Jesus called His disciples, He called people from different backgrounds.
There were zealots – those who wanted to overthrow Rome – they wanted to drive Rome out – they want to raise revolts against Rome – and Jesus took some of those. Then there were some on the other side – those who wanted to get along with Rome.. There were the tax collectors – those were hated by everyone – they were traitors to the Jewish people – and He took common fishermen – and it was a diverse group of disciples – and Jesus said – Love one another. Jesus takes people from diverse backgrounds, opinions, preferences, ways of doing things – and He takes those who rub us the wrong way – those we don’t naturally get along with – and He sticks us together and says – Love one another. That is what is means to be a disciple – this is What it means to follow Jesus then and now
Lord, thank You that You gave Yourself on the cross for our sins – may we never forget that – that we are forgiven. You bore our sorrows, grief, shame and guilt on the cross – we are wholly forgiven and free – thank You for that. May our worship reflect the cross – and the love that God demonstrated on that cross. Prepare our hearts as we listen to Your word now – amen.
One of the big reasons we struggle with living in a church community as disciples together – there is the iconic symbol of the lone cowboy riding into the sunset alone – rugged individualism – it is about us – about me – I have rights and privileges and … we live in a culture that is all about ME. We talked about a world of consumerism that has entered the church – and there is this individualism that has entered the church.
How do we live as followers of Jesus within the church? And this individualism affects our discipleship and our view of what the church is. We think differently about the church than what the Bible says it should be and do.
Discipleship is a shared life with Jesus and can only be experienced directly in the church – you cannot be a follower of Jesus on your own. You just can’t. You can be a follower of Jesus in those times when you are on your own – but you can’t remain alone – you must engage with His people. That is what Jesus called people to do.
The role of church has been minimized – we have minimized it down to a social service provider that caters to the needs of individuals’ spiritual needs. Some call it an enterprise for cause or to meet or have new friends – what is wrong with that? It can and should be all of those things.
8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Manifold – not like in your car – all I know about it is that it breaks and costs a lot of money.
Manifold – different ways.
My wife really likes the stone and gem section of the Smithsonian – where the Hope diamond is – diamonds have cuts called facets – every angle you look at it from is different.
God’s wisdom is like that – it has so many ways to see it – more than a Hope Diamond could ever offer – it comes at us from every direction – and Paul says – that is being made known through the church. The purpose is to reveal all the aspects of the Creator to the universe. Yes, the church should be where spiritual needs are met and people make friends and feel welcomed – but it is so much more than that. There is this incredible plan and purpose for the church.
We have a lot of friendly people here – but do you ever think of the church as revealing the multi-faceted wisdom of God? Where the world sees all these different aspects of God – revealing different angles of God.
Ephesians 1: ”22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
The church is His body – which fills all in all.
We can’t even begin to understand what God is doing in the church – the Bride of Christ – it is a nice picture – but we need to get beyond that to see the significance that God has placed in bringing people together as His family.
Family means the most to you – does it not?
Many were at a funeral yesterday – and I’m sure they left feeling that family is most important.
God uses ones in our family that are really different!
Matthew 5:13 “You (PLURAL – all of y’all!) are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Bonheoffer – Salt – the most indispensable necessity of life.
We don’t think of salt that way, do we? Without it, you would die. They believed that it cleansed and sustained the world – salary – comes from the fact that Roman soldiers were paid in salt.
The church – cleanses and sustains the earth – it is the most indispensable necessity of life.
For us – being a follower of Christ must take place in community with others in the church. You can’t be alone – like Dave shared last night – we men need to connect with other men - Discipleship must be about developing the characteristics that cause us to grow in the church.
Our change of character, moral character must be brought into the church.
Throughout the New Testament – there are the “one another” verses –
John 13:34 – A new commandment – love one another – That is the foundation for the rest. There are all kinds of one another verses – look for it.
Encourage one another
Pray for one another
Being a follower of Jesus is relational – your willingness to love determines your potential as a disciple.
If you are not engaged in loving one another, you are not being engaged in following Jesus – it is by love for one another that you follow Jesus – the way that He loved us – and He loved us by giving his life – He loved us fully and completely when we didn’t really deserve His love.
Eph. 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Forgive as Christ forgave. You cannot love as Christ loved unless you are able to forgive as Christ forgave you. We have to be able to forgive – because People sin and offend. If there is one thing I’ve learned – I have offended by what I’ve said, what I’ve done, what I haven’t said, and what I haven’t done.
For a marriage to work – she has to forgive me. For a church to work, we have to forgive one another.
I will probably offend someone today in one of those ways – and so will you – so we need to learn to forgive – because we are human – and that is what we do.
We don’t always recognize when we offend – but we need to learn to recognize when we’ve offended as easily as when we are offended.
Romans – 12: 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
Romans 15: 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to have the same focus – the same willingness to forgive – to apologize – recognizing that what matters most is the relationship. Doing what it takes to make things right.
Colossians says that love is expressed through unity. We tend to think of unity as intellectual – agreeing about things.
St. Augustine supposedly said this – In the essentials – unity. In non-essentials, diversity – in all things – charity.
I like this – dogma, doctrine, and opinion.
Dogma – the essentials – the things the church has agreed upon throughout history – As it developed, there is this understanding of the trinity – Jesus is God, salvation is through His death and resurrection – those are in the major creeds – and that is dogma. Things that determine that we are true Christians.
If you don’t agree with those things – you are outside of Christianity – many have rejected the deity of Christ – and in doing so – have stepped out of the faith.
Doctrine – Calvinism/Armenianism – free will versus pre-destination. The return of Christ – when? Tribulation?
Eternal security?! We have eternal security in our doctrinal statement. But there are plenty of Christians who don’t. It is not dogma. We would like to make it dogma - but historically, it has gone either way. But I could take you to a church down the street who love the Lord and preach the gospel who don’t hold to it.
Opinion – rules and regulations we set up – church government – worship approach – personally – I would put the pre-post tribulation rapture to opinion - but problems come when we take our doctrine and say you have to believe it – or we take our opinion and say this is biblical doctrine – it is important to know the difference.
We believe in baptism of believers – meaning he gets baptized after coming to faith in Christ. But there are many in the Calvinist reformed camp who believe in baptism of infants.
1 Cor. 1: 10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Unity comes when we recognize that we are following Jesus. You can follow Him in all kinds of ways. There are followers of Jesus who do it a lot differently than you do! Some speak in tongues – others do not – but is one better than the other? Sometimes we do.
Because we offend one another – it is critical to keep offenses private – go directly to the person who offended you and not someone else.
My wife is working on this at her workplace – I’m sure at your workplace – there is gossip. They have made a pact – if someone does something – they will only talk to the person involved. You can only bring others into it after you have gone to the person privately and there is still an issue – “Know this – the person you tell – will go to someone how you offended them! It will always happen.”
I will offend you. Talk to me!
And you will offend in what you say and don’t say – and what you do and don’t do – and you want people to not talk to others, but to you!