Build the Altar: Gospel Friendship

This message is in part of vision of what we’ll be most about in the coming year (our emphasis), which when coupled with the other Build the Altar rhythms, will form the essential practices of what it means to follow Jesus together.

“We must exhibit to our children [in private] and to the watching world [in public] that we take truth seriously. It will not do in a relativistic age to say that we believe in truth and fail to practice that truth in places where it may be observed and where it is costly.”
—Francis Schaeffer

Message title: Build the Altar: Gospel Friendships
Third Week of Build the Altar
Scriptures: Acts 13:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3-7
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Date: 1/22/17

Listen or download:

Scripture readings:

Acts 13:1-4

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

13 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,[a] Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

  1. Acts 13:1 Niger is a Latin word meaning black, or dark

2 Corinthians 4:3-7

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[a] for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:5 Or slaves (Greek word doulos)
“The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.”
—A.W. Tozer

Quotes & resources:

The outline of today’s sermon is borrowed in many ways from the emphases of Francis Schaeffer in a position paper “Two Contents, Two Realities,” delivered to all participants of the International Congress on World Evangelization inLausanne, Switzerland (1974) 1. Schaeffer’s terrific book True Spirituality is a longer exploration of these themes and emphases.

“There are four things which I think are absolutely necessary if we as Christians are to meet the need of our age and the overwhelming pressure we are increasingly facing. They are two contents and two realities:

  • The First Content: Sound Doctrine
  • The Second Content: Honest Answers to Honest Questions
  • The First Reality: True Spirituality
  • The Second Reality: The Beauty of Human Relationships

We must exhibit to our children [in private] and to the watching world [in public] that we take truth seriously. It will not do in a relativistic age to say that we believe in truth and fail to practice that truth in places where it may be observed and where it is costly.”

Christianity demands that we have enough compassion to learn the questions of our generation.

The trouble with too many of us is that we want to be able to answer these questions instantly, as though we could take a funnel, put it in one ear and pour in the facts, and then go out and regurgitate them and win all the discussions. It cannot be. Answering questions is hard work.

Can you answer all the questions? No, but you must try. Begin to listen with compassion. Ask what this [person’s] questions really are and try to answer. And if you don’t know the answer, try to go someplace or read and study to find the answer.” (CW, 3:414)

Sound Doctrine: The Whole Gospel Truth

Personal Good News and the Gospel Story

To discuss a new start in following Jesus, receiving His whole good news, please contact us

Our working metaphor for the message was a table. Think of the four points as four posts holding up a table, the Table of Grace!

Audio for this teaching may be played above, and is included in the RENEW Church podcastsubscribe in iTunes here, or access the church podcast feed directly here.

This year each of us are invited on an adventure to build an altar to God each new day, to look up and love our Creator first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.

Team World Vision 6K for Water »

What: World Vision’s Global 6K for Water is a one day event where people from all over the world unite on the same day for the same cause – clean water

Why: Nearly 1,000 children under 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. That’s why World Vision is providing a new person with clean water every 30 seconds as part of our full solution to poverty. Clean water frees children from deadly disease, liberates women and children from a life spent gathering dirty water, and opens the door to education, a promising future, and a full life, the kind of life God intends.

When: May 6, 2017 @ 9am

Signup! » 6K for Water

  1. see also the 1974 Lausanne Covenant (with commentary by Rev. John Stott), a key document delegates collaborated on towards the hope of world evangelization

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