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Hear the Sound

Paul charged Titus, “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine…” (Titus 2:1). Such a mandate makes it obvious that sound doctrine is important. But why is it important? Does it really make a difference what we believe?

Sound doctrine is important because…

1. Our Faith is Based on a Specific Message – The overall teaching of the church contains many elements, but the primary message is explicitly defined: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures [and] . . . he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the unambiguous good news, and it is “of first importance.” Change that message, and the basis of faith shifts from Christ to something else. Our eternal destiny depends upon hearing “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:3 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

2. The Gospel is a Sacred Trust – We dare not tamper with God’s communication to the world. Our duty is to deliver the message, not to change it. Jude conveys an urgency in guarding the trust: “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints…” (Jude 1:3; and Philippians 1:27). To “contend” carries the idea of strenuously fighting for something, to give it everything you’ve got.

The Bible includes a warning neither to add to nor subtract from God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19). Rather than alter the apostles’ doctrine, we receive what has been passed down to us and keep it “as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

3. What We Believe Affects What We Do – Behavior is an extension of theology, and there is a direct correlation between what we think and how we act. For example, two people stand on top of a bridge; one believes he can fly, and the other believes he cannot fly. Their next actions will be quite dissimilar. In the same way, a man who believes that there is no such thing as right and wrong will naturally behave differently from a man who believes in well-defined moral standards.

In one of the Bible’s lists of sins, things like rebellion, murder, lying, and slave trading are mentioned. The list concludes with “whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). In other words, true teaching promotes righteousness; sin flourishes where “the sound doctrine” is opposed.

4. We Must Ascertain Truth in a World of Falsehood –  “Many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). There are tares among the wheat and wolves among the flock (Matthew 13:25;Acts 20:29). The best way to distinguish truth from falsehood is to know what the truth is.

5. The End of Sound Doctrine is Life – “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Conversely, the end of unsound doctrine is destruction. “Certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). Changing God’s message of grace is a “godless” thing to do, and the condemnation for such a deed is severe. Preaching another gospel (“which is really no gospel at all”) carries ananathema: “let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-9).

6. It Encourages Believers – A love of God’s Word brings “great peace” (Psalm 119:165), and those “who proclaim peace . . . who proclaim salvation” are truly “beautiful” (Isaiah 52:7). A pastor “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:9).

The word of wisdom is “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28, NKJV). If we can apply this to sound doctrine, the lesson is that we must preserve it intact. May we never stray from “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).*

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MISS THIS WEEK? Check out all CGC messages (audio and video) here: http://communitygospelchurch.com/#/media/

NEXT WEEK @ CGC: We continue our 8 week summer series, “Powerhouse: Life Lessons from the Celebrities of the Old Testament”

PASTOR JORDAN’S JUNE BOOK CLUB BOOK: Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls.

Synopsis: “Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today’s media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the bickering and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts. Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Scott shows us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive fray. Jesus offers us a way forward – away from harshness, caricatures and stereotypes. In Jesus Outside the Lines, you will experience a fresh perspective of Jesus, who will not (and should not) fit into the sides.”

Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Outside-Lines-Forward-Taking/dp/1496400933/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432402893&sr=8-1&keywords=Jesus+outside+the+lines

TITHES AND OFFERINGS: Did you know you can Contribute financially to CGC online @ http://communitygospelchurch.com/#/contribute

Be blessed! The best is yet to come!

Week of May 24, 2015 – How to Disappear

If we do our job right as Christians, we’ll disappear. Christ will be “seen” the more we openly offer ourselves as living sacrificing (Romans 12:1-2), eliminating what we want and work to live for what Christ wants.

How can we “disappear” in our spiritual walk? How can Christ can be seen and not ourselves?

A couple of simple helps for your walk this week…

1. Know Who You Represent: One of the most critical points of Christianity is that we see ourselves as representatives of Jesus. In verbal and nonverbal communication we are a mouthpiece and movement for Jesus. More ego equals less Jesus. Everything we do is either a positive or negative representation of our King. Which impact for the kingdom are you making? If we want Christ to be made known, we must put our egos behind us and remember the purpose and goal is to make Christ known.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

2. Know You’re Setting an Example: As representations of Jesus our job is to not only represent Christianity in a positive light, but also make disciples. A disciple or follower of Jesus won’t follow something if the person who is making the claim doesn’t faithfully follow as well. One will see that the journey with Christ is “worth it” by the example we set. Therefore, living out what has been accepted ensures yourself as well as others that the excursion is worth it.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

3. Point Everything Back to the Book: Attitude and personal preference make following Jesus more difficult than it should be. Solid followers will not try to justify their own actions but take the Bible at it’s Word and live out that truth accordingly. When representing Christ in a Godly example, seek to avoid mixing personal thoughts with Biblical mandates. Point people back to the book which is useful for all that life has to offer.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

You can do it!

May the Lord bless you as you serve him this week, representing Jesus as Kings and Queens, heirs of the King of Kings. May you live as a Godly example in all you say and do, pointing all the good works and accomplishments done to the great God who has loved and saved us through the death and resurrection of Christ.

NEXT WEEK @ CGC: We start our 8 week summer series, “Powerhouse: Life Lessons from the Celebrities of the Old Testament”

PASTOR JORDAN’S JUNE BOOK CLUB BOOK: Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls.

Synopsis: “Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today’s media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the bickering and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts. Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Scott shows us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive fray. Jesus offers us a way forward – away from harshness, caricatures and stereotypes. In Jesus Outside the Lines, you will experience a fresh perspective of Jesus, who will not (and should not) fit into the sides.”

Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Outside-Lines-Forward-Taking/dp/1496400933/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432402893&sr=8-1&keywords=Jesus+outside+the+lines

BONUS! Check out the Memorial Day Parade Pictures Here.

Be blessed, the best is yet to come!

-jordan

6 Thoughts

1. Act “As If”: I love the quote “Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you.” Looking to spiritually succeed today? Act “as if” your goals are right in front of you ready to be taken. Do the work that is needed to be done to take you one step closer to the finish line. Act “as if” the prayers you have been requesting are already answered and move to the solutions God has revealed to you. Act “as if” the thing you are most afraid of has already been handled. Remember, God is in control. He is looking for you to take steps of obedience as He continues to move on our behalf.

…we walk in obedience to his commands.” 2 John 1:6

2. Stop Wasting Effort on Thing You Can’t Control: Why in the world we waste so much energy on things we can’t control has always been a mystery to me. Troublesome people, politics, family, friends, jobs, etc. We worry about the craziest things! It completely drains us emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We must never forget that what we can’t control, God can. Take what’s grinding you to the Lord, pray that His hand would move in ways you cannot and move on!

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

3. Learn From Mistakes: There’s a part in “The Lion King” where this crazy painted monkey hits a troubled little lion in the head with a stick. It’s hilarious. The lion says to the monkey, “what did you do that for?” The monkey replies, “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past!” HAHA! The lion says after the blow… “It still hurts though…” Amen little lion! The past does hurt. However… it’s in the past! While the past can hurt, it’s valuable. We learn from our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. Steven Swift says, “When something bad happens to you, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, don’t just learn from it — see it as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time you and the people around you know how to make sure it goes right.”

The righteous falls seven times and rises again.” Proverbs 24:16

4. Celebrate Others Success: For the longest time I wanted to be the only “winner”. What a joke. There is so much success to go around! Jesus spent three years making sure His disciples would shine as lights for him. He equipped them to be successful, celebrating when they did great things. The disciples learned from this and in turn gave others the opportunity to shine as well. Is there someone in your life that is doing a good job? Tell them! It’s amazing how so many people seem to fail to get applause for doing the right thing but get railed for making mistakes. Go out and encourage someone today that is doing a great work! Celebrate success, even when it’s not yours!

Encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

5. Stop Whining: When my daughters whine it’s like nails on a chalkboard… amen? When faced with an issue instead of spending time and energy complaining about it, put that energy into finding a solution. I love the quote, “Less talk, more walk!” The Bible has so many solutions to our everyday issues. Study and put into practice those truths!

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

6. Count Your Blessings: God has been so good to us! Take a moment right now and think about all the Lord has done in your life. From His everyday provision like food and water to the life changing work and offering of salvation on the cross. Jesus cares about you so much! He loves you with a never ending love and has blessed you in abundance. Take time today to count your blessings and praise the Lord for His mighty work!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2
-jordan

What’s a Great Pastor?

I got asked the question tonight what makes a great pastor… What an awesome question. Here we go…

A great pastor (working definition)…

(1) Has openly declared that Jesus is Lord – He believes his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, openly declaring He is saved through faith alone. (Romans 10:9-10)

(2) Has not taken lightly the calling from God on his life (Phil. 3:14) but striving to shepherd the flock entrusted to his care by striving (not obtaining perfection) in being blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine (not a drunk), not violent, or greedy for money – but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous but one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. He is not a novice puffed up with pride but has a good testimony among His fellow man avoiding the snares of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

(3) Makes every ambition to preach the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ where it has never been heard. (Romans 15:20) until Christ returns again (Matthew 24:36)

What did I miss…

-jordan

My Daily Quiet Time

What does it look like to have a daily quiet time with God?

Here’s my usual morning routine…

Something Physical

First thing in the morning when I wake up (4 to 5 am) I head out the door to get the blood flowing. Some people take time in the Word first but I need to clear my head. Running, lifting weights, etc. It doesn’t have to be extremely stressful but at the same time it shouldn’t be something that takes no effort. One thing I have done is been on some sort of workout plan (for walking, running, lifting, biking, etc.). It helps set a goal and stick to it! Most people quit working out because they don’t have a plan. Physical exercise lets me get all the junk out of my head before I kick into the Word. I put a sermon in my ears on the way to the gym, then listen to music while working out, then listen to a rest of the sermon on the way home.

Something Biblical
 Workout’s over, time to hit the book. I’m always going through a 360, 180 or 90 day Bible reading plan depending on the season of ministry. This is not a time of study but more a time to simply read God’s Word to start the day.

Something Prayerful

After reading the word I spend some time in prayer. I pray and journal through the Proverb of the day, a list of our church needs and church family, my wife and our kids, the day and anything else that’s “pressing”.

Something Serving

The saying, “Many hands make light work” is true! There’s house work to be done that I can help with before going out the door. Trash needs taken out, animals need feed, dishes need put away, etc. I want to do my part for our family. Usually my kids are up and rolling by now so while I’m knocking out some chores I can get them fed. I learned a lot about helping my mom from watching my dad. I’m praying my kids are doing the same. Sometimes they even help!

Something Read

With the chores knocked out I can go take a shower, get dressed and get ready for the day. Then I make breakfast and grab a cup of Joe. As I’m eating there is often a book in my hand I’m going through (chapter a day). Then it’s off to the office to work on the to-do-list.

This routine took a long time to work up to and honestly it calls for waking up pretty early. While everyone is different, the content is king. Does this routine happen everyday? Nope. There are variations, but I try to stick to the outline as much as possible even though times can vary. Without time in the Word and prayer, I’m a mess in the day.

Hope this helps.

-jordan

Sacred Marriage – Week 3 Message

Sacred Marriage – Week 3 from Community Gospel on Vimeo.

Good Books

For Pastors

  • Dangerous Calling – Paul David Tripp // Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy—an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.
  • Show Me How to Share the Gospel – Larry Moyer // Drawing upon over thirty-five years of experience in evangelism, Larry moyer introduces readers to the exciting reality that believers can lean how to share the Gospel with others clearly and confidently. If someone introduced you to the most rewarding thing in life, would you take it? of course! and that’s just what we have to offer to others. introducing Jesus Christ to someone is not only the most important thing you could do for them, but also the most personally rewarding thing you could do for yourself. Even if you think evangelism isn’t for you, this step-by-step resource shows you how to start and nurture an evangelistic life-style.
  • Autopsy of a Deceased Church – Thom Rainer // Whether your church is vibrant or dying, whether you are a pastor or a church member, Autopsy of a Deceased Church will walk you through the radical paths necessary to keep your church alive to the glory of God and advancement of Christ’s Kingdom!
  • Biblical Preaching – Haddon W. Robinson // His bestselling text by Haddon Robinson, considered by many to be the “teacher of preachers,” has sold over 300,000 copies and is a contemporary classic in the field. It offers students, pastors, and Bible teachers expert guidance in the development and delivery of expository sermons. This new edition has been updated throughout and includes helpful exercises.

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