Five Points Blog

The World’s Most Despicable Sin

By far the most evil of all sins is the crucifixion of the holy, sinless, infinitely worthy Son of God, Jesus Christ. No sin could be worse. The gap between how little he deserves such a criminal’s death, contrasted with how much he deserves extravagant worship, from a heart of lavish devotion, couldn’t be wider.

Most despicable in the process of murdering the Son of God was Judas’ betrayal of our Lord. Scripture says that Judas was one of the disciples but also a thief and lover of money (John 12:6). Yet, Luke tells us “Satan entered into him” when Judas ate the Passover with Jesus.

But Satan doesn’t enter innocent people. Paul writes, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1-2). Don’t miss the connection between being dead in our sins and following the devil. Judas’ life welcomed the enemy’s entrance.
Judas had made many small suicidal decisions long before he betrayed the savior of the world.

It wasn’t just the big decisions of sin that killed Christ; it was a culmination of many little ones.

Beware of allowing small reserves of pride to poison your soul. The life of betrayal Judas led stands as a stark warning to all of us not to give way to small musings of fear, greed, bitterness, or pride. They are suicidal.

Battle them with bold confidence that the death Jesus died is fully able to break the power of sin in our lives. For “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Amazed by Grace,

Pastor Brent

Planting the Joy of a Seedbed for Missions

The following is a post by one of our elders, summarizing the content from this past Sunday's Adult Bible Study Hour. In the class, we are going through eight different aspects of our Planting Joy vision. Consider joining us this Sunday at 9:30am in the sanctuary.

The idea of declaring the glory of God to all nations is not just a New Testament concept but one developed throughout all of Scripture. Psalm 96:1-3 and Isaiah 49:6 are particularly relevant passages to consider in the Old Testament that provide context for Jesus’ commission for his followers to make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20). That commission is a sure thing; just as we are promised to receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:6-8, so also are we promised that we will be witnesses.

However, these passages from Matthew and Acts would come under the broad heading of duty. He is God; therefore he is to be obeyed. While it is perfectly right to talk about obeying God’s commands, I would like to point to the joy of missions. A missionary may have responded to missionary service out of a sense of duty, but what they talk about is the joy of missionary service. As a church, we have to understand that in order to pray effectively and to be a seedbed for missions.

Matthew 9:35-37 instructs us to pray earnestly for God to send out laborers into his harvest. We will only pray that prayer if we see that those workers are going to experience great joy. They will experience difficulties and hardships, but they will still go if it is for joy. You won’t pray this prayer if you are afraid that God may send you to the mission field. But if you think in this fearful way, you have a very distorted view of God and you do not see the joy of missions.

When we as a church see the joy of missions, then we will be a true seedbed for missions. A seedbed is designed to provide the right conditions to allow a seed to begin to grow and develop. That will happen at Five Points when we are excited about missions and rejoice when God calls someone from our midst to go to the mission field. The Planting Joy vision will allow us to expand as a sending base so we can send out many more laborers into the harvest.

We welcome our new members!

Following last night's Annual Member's meeting, we welcome the following people into membership at Five Points:

Dominick & Lori Astorino
Aubrey Gibson
Don & Kathy Gibson
Pete Gibson
Alex & Kera Hoover
Tim Houston
Ron Mayday
Nowell & Wendy Manus
Steve & Karen Safiedine
Kevin & Joan Sedely
Phil & Alison Sommerville
Jacquelyn Verley

Covenant membership is a commitment to one another—a willing pledge to guard, care, submit, support, and minister together for the building up of our church body. Joining the covenant community at Five Points is a public expression of your commitment to fulfill the 44 "one another" commands found in the New Testament and is an integral part of our witness to the world around us. Contact the church office if you would like more information about becoming a member at Five Points.

Dig in Together This Fall

Fall is just around the corner and I am excited for the many different classes that will be starting up on September 9. Let me highlight for you some of the opportunities you will have to connect with others in digging into God's word.

We will continue with a full spread of Bible Study Hour classes for adults. Pastor JJ will be teaching a class called "God Saves: Studies in Jonah & Hosea" (Room I/J), highlighting how these often-obscured prophets clearly anticipate Christ. One of our elders, Mike Houston, will continue to partner with Eric Leiendecker in leading the College & Career class through the Letter to the Colossians (Room A). Another elder, Dick Mills, will be teaching an expositional or topical study in the Sanctuary. Cindy Verner will continue teaching the women's class in the Gospel of John (Room D). And I will have the privilege of walking through redemptive history, looking at how God is working to establish his people in his place with his presence by creating his kingdom through a covenant (Room C).

And while we will mainly focus on the deep truths of God’s word on Sunday mornings, we will consider how those truths impact our daily lives at our Evening Family Gatherings. Pastor Brent will be teaching a class titled, "Marriage: A Marvelous Mystery" (Sanctuary). Elder Mark Kakkuri will teach "Apologetics to the Glory of God" (Rooms I & J), and Ken Whitely will be teaching the class "The Fruitful Credit of Faithful Finances" (Rooms C & D).

And of course, classes for children and students will be held during the same times as well.

Consider joining us as we pursue joy in Christ alone through the study and application of his word together.

Dinner Party Aromas

Simon’s dinner party was the scene of a subtle battle between money and majesty, between the worth of wealth and the worth of the Savior. Mary brings with her a flask of pure nard, fragrant perfume worth a year’s wages. While Jesus was sitting at the table, she broke the flask and poured the expensive ointment over his head. What a dramatic expression of her devotion to Christ - as pure as the nard on His head!

But Judas complains: “We could have sold the perfume and the money given to the poor!” We’ll see shortly, Judas cares little about the poor. He was far more concerned about himself and how that much money would pass through his hands. In his greed, he scolded Mary for ‘wasting’ the costly nard on Jesus.

Jesus spoke up to defend Mary’s act: “Leave her alone…She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6). If Judas really cared about the poor, he could have given money to the poor long before this. And he will have ample opportunity to give to the poor again – they will always be with us.

Judas was blind to two crucial facts: all money comes from God and is God’s. And God means for all he owns to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ – including all wealth. No gift of pure devotion given to glorify Christ can ever be called a ‘waste.’

More profoundly, he didn’t see that Mary’s perfume anointed the Savior of the world for his greatest work: dying for the evils of his people, including those rooted in the love of money. In that pure nard dripping down the head of our Lord was the fragrant smell of a pleasing sacrifice to God that covered the sins of the world.

What aroma emanates from your life – the faint odor of greed unto your death; or the beautiful fragrance of Christ’s death unto your living and lavish worship? 

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