Five Points Blog
- Brent Nelson
- May 10, 2013
If God’s holiness is his unwavering devotion to the purity, beauty, and goodness of his own name, how does that effect all that he has made? Genesis 2:3 begins to answer that question, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
What does it mean for God to bless a day and make it holy? Much the same as it means when he blesses land or persons or a nation to make them holy. The land or persons he blesses brim with his goodness and purity because he gives to them himself. For God to bless one day in seven is to say that on that day he means to give himself uniquely to his people such that they share in his holiness and brim with his blessing.
This divine visit of holy blessings is called Sabbath. The word means to rest, to cease, and to refresh. When we rest in God one day in seven, following the pattern God established, we remind ourselves of his goodness to give us the greatest possible blessing, namely himself! Can you imagine any greater news than the great and holy God of all glory commanding that we rest and enjoy him who is most enjoyable?
Why does God mean for this weekly rhythm of Sabbath rest to be so good for us all the years of our earthly lives? He does so for many reasons, but a chief one is that it prepares us for the eternity of un-ending Sabbath rest we will have in his presence: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10).
Join us this Sunday for Bible Study Hour at 9:30am and our morning service at 10:45am; Pastor Brent will continue in his sermon series, "Tremble Before the Holy God."
- Brent Nelson
- May 03, 2013
Why do we call God “holy”? What does God’s holiness mean? And if he is holy, how should I respond to him? What difference does his holiness make in my life now and forever?
For the next ten weeks, Lord willing, I will take up texts of Holy Scripture to answer those questions in a series I’ve entitled, “Tremble Before the Holy God.” God’s person, God’s acts, God’s word, and God’s Spirit are all holy, because he is holy. Yet what does that mean? Essentially it means he is in a class by himself, and that class is perfectly good and perfectly pure.
But we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of God’s character to say he is good and pure like no other. He is also just and jealous, merciful and majestic, wonderful and wrathful, and so much more.
When God saves his beloved people out of Pharaoh’s grasp in Egyptian captivity, Moses sings a song of God’s salvation in which he highlights the majesty of God’s holiness: “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). The feature of holiness that shines brightest in God’s salvation is his majesty.
And since the Holy Spirit commands us to be holy as God is holy—“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)—then God’s holy majesty must mark our lives in a similar fashion as it does his!
In what ways does God’s majesty mark your life? Like mountains mark the earth’s surface, do high and lofty truths rise from your life sending others’ thoughts Godward? Like deep oceans blanket the globe, does God’s majestic holiness cause humility to burst forth from your life like a fountain? O Lord, mark us with majesty!
Join us this Sunday at 10:45am as we come together again to adore and worship Jesus, the Son of God; Pastor Brent will begin a new sermon series titled, "Tremble Before the Holy God."
- Greg Lappetito & Brett Toney
- May 01, 2013
In the book of 2 Chronicles, after Solomon had completed the temple, the Lord appeared to him during the night while Solomon prayed. In this exchange, God explained how “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
No one can deny the grievous effects that sin has made in our lives. As men called to provide leadership in our church, families, and neighborhoods, we have a responsibility to lead well, and that begins with humbling ourselves in prayer before our heavenly Father. Just as Solomon was incapable of leading those of whom he was given oversight apart from continual dependence on God, so also we will fail to faithfully lead those entrusted to our care apart from dependence on God.
So let us, as men, come together to seek to faithfully lead by confessing and showing our dependence on God by humbling ourselves in prayer. How else will our families, neighbors, and the nations worship Jesus with us now and forever apart from God so moving through our leadership?
Join other men, especially younger men ages 18-35, in prayer together on Saturday, May 18, at 8:30am as we seek God's face and will for our lives as godly men.
- Dave Miles
- Apr 26, 2013
When you think missions, what comes to mind? An exotic culture? Ministry in a foreign country? Medical help for refugees from war or disaster? Perhaps all the above. But today, according to missiologists, the United States—along with most other western countries—is considered a mission field. That means the culture in the United States is no longer centered on Christendom. Social custom and expectation no longer draw people to church to hear the gospel. So what’s a church to do? Acts 17 gives us a couple of hints.
Paul’s second missionary journey, through what we now call Greece, eventually led him to Athens, the center of the Roman empire’s intellectual life. Athens was a city submerged in idols. The Greeks loved their gods. In fact, one scholar notes that while the God of the Hebrew Scriptures created man in his own image, the Greeks created the gods in theirs. The temples to the gods were ultimately designed to celebrate man and his achievements.
But Paul loved the one true God. Paul knew that he alone was supremely beautiful. He alone was worthy of worship. It irritated him that Athenians tarnished the image of the one true God by their worship of false gods.
Motivated by a holy love, Paul entered the local synagogue and eventually the marketplace, where he respectfully dialogued with those present about the true nature of God. Using the culture of his listeners as a starting point, he spoke of Jesus and the resurrection. The Greek philosophers, curious to hear any new teaching, invited him to dialogue with the most revered scholars in Athens—those on Mars Hill. There, Paul demonstrated to the intellectual elite of the day that the gospel truly is good news! Only the gospel would ultimately satisfy the hopes and dreams of the Athenians.
In a similar way, U.S. Christians, motivated by a deep-seated love for God and his glory, must take the time to show those in their community that the gospel is truly good news. The gospel makes sense and will be the only thing that truly satisfies our personal and national hopes and dreams.
Join us this Sunday at 10:45am for our next Missions Focus Sunday as supported missionary Dave Miles preaches on Acts 17. See the online calendar for other missions-related activities happening this weekend.
- Brent Nelson
- Apr 19, 2013
We are all broken. Ever since Adam and Eve, our bodies, our souls, and our minds are broken in the dark futility of the fall that occurred in the ancient Garden of Eden. The root of all our brokenness—moral, sexual, relational, intellectual, and spiritual throughout culture, the span of history, and even in the church—is our exchange of the glory of God for other things. “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images …” (Romans 1:22-23). In different ways and in different degrees, we are all broken idolaters.
But the fall into futility was designed and executed by God. His aim was not condemnation but hope. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope” (Romans 8:20). Hope for what? Paul explains, “That the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption (i.e., futility) and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." Paul pictures the miseries and futilities and pains of creation as childbirth before the final resurrection when all the pain of our disordered bodies will be replaced with the glory of God among his people.
No, God does not fully deliver us from our futile brokenness all at once. Rather, he conscripts all our sorrows and struggles with sinful brokenness into the service of our Christ-like joy. This is the promise of Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” As much as God despises sin, he cannot despise sin more than he loves his Son … in us! All our sin, while grieving his holy name, is enslaved to serve our joy in him! Is there anything in you too broken for God to use for his glory and your joy? No, there is not.
Join us this Sunday at 10:45am as we come together to celebrate how God has saved us out of our sinful desires through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. Pastor Brent will be pausing from any larger series to address recent developments in the broader culture in regards to so-called same-sex marriage.