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"But Now I am Six; I'm as clever as clever." - Preparing for Worship, February 26 2017

Posted by Tommy Keene on

Morning Worship – “But now I am six. I’m as clever as clever.”

Every have breakfast for dinner? Pancakes, bacon, eggs—the whole deal. We do. It can be fun to switch things up a bit, to turn the day a little upside down. Well that’s what we are doing this coming Sunday, bringing a bit of what we do in the evening into the morning! I’ve been preaching through Hebrews in the evening, so as Eric prepares for the next series on Joshua, we will consider our wilderness wandering from a more NT perspective!

Our passage for the morning is Heb. 5:11-6:12, the main theme of which is to grow on into maturity. Faith is not a static thing; like a tree it is designed to grow. In fact, it must grow, or else it withers.

A brief aside. Some of you will know that there is a major difficulty in this passage. Hebrews 4:6-8 is a very sobering and challenging sentence. It presents a theological difficulty: can a genuine believer fall from the faith? That’s a very important question—one which takes a considerable amount of time to work through. Unfortunately, we won’t have time to fully explore that issue on Sunday. To do so would be to distract from the main point, the exhortation to maturity. So if you are the type who wants to explore that passage more deeply, join us next week in the evening, at which time we will dedicate a whole sermon to the issue. There’s also an article I recommend from Tom Schreiner, which you can find here.

Passages for Meditation

  • 3:12-4:1. What’s Paul’s central concern here? What attitude does he think should characterize every Christian? How does this coordinate with, say, Phil 1:6?
  • 2 Tim. 2:11-13. There’s a real tension in this passage. What is it? What do you think Paul means by it?
  • Luke 8:4-15. How do you know that you are the good kind of plant?
  • 119. How does the law function as a tool for Christian maturity?
  • Hebrews 5:11-6:12. Try not to get (too) distracted by Heb. 6:4-6 (for now at least, see below). What’s the main point of this passage? What is the “actionable item” here?

Questions for Consideration

  • On what do you spend time and energy improving? A sport? Your golf swing? Excellence in your field or work? Video games? How do you go about improving in those areas?
  • Do you bring the same dedication to your faith? Do you seek to “improve” it, or do you treat it as a static things (you either have it or you don’t)? Is it something you cultivate and develop, like a garden, or is it more “I have it if I need it,” like ketchup?
  • What would it look like to start (or improve at) “training” your faith? We know what it is to practice in sports, or math, or work. What does it look like for faith? How do you train the soul?

Hymns for Proclamation

  • 518- “Christ of all My Hopes the Ground”
  • 465- “Marvelous Grace of our Loving Lord.” God’s grace grounds our efforts. Why is that important to remember, especially given our concern this week with maturity?
  • 59- “Forever Settled in the Heavens”
  • 457- “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” As we cultivate our faith we are constantly dependent upon God for the increase. At the heart of growth is dependence.

Sabbath Symposium, 6:00 -7:30 this Evening

We will not be having an ordinary worship service this evening, but rather our 1st Sabbath Symposium of the year. We do this in the evening 4-6 times a year. It’s an opportunity to ask anything you want about the Bible, about the Christian Life, about theology. It’s an opportunity for us to think together as a community, to ask each other “how should we handle this situation,” or “how should I think about this issue.” Join the conversation, and bring your questions!

Tags: maturity, perseverance, wilderness

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