Happy Wednesday, FCC! Looks like we will get another glimpse of Spring today! I plan to take our dog for a run today over the noon hour. Hope you get a chance to enjoy it too!
Last week I wrote about the discipleship triangle. The point of the triangle is to talk about all three aspects of following Jesus as individuals. We must know him, do what he teaches us to do; and as we obey him, we become like him.
Today I would like to introduce you to the discipleship pyramid. The discipleship pyramid brings together biblical principles for creating a culture of discipleship. In other words, as we give ourselves in our lives and ministries to these principles, we will create a discipleship culture at FCC.
In future weeks, I will focus on each of these principles. For today, I will just briefly describe how they fit together to a culture of discipleship.
The Foundation for a culture of discipleship is submission to the supremacy and lordship of Jesus. Our hearts must be surrendered to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Every human being lives for some kind of lord, and we are convinced of and converted to Jesus' supremacy. Our Authority in discipleship is the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. In other words, the Scriptures teach us how to live. The Bible doesn't tell us everything about life, but what the Bible teaches us, shapes every aspect of our lives. The Context for discipleship is covenant community on mission. What this means, is that going back to Jesus, discipleship is always within the context of mission and commitment to one another. This is how Jesus did discipleship with the first disciples. He gave them a mission and discipled them within and for that mission. We have the same mission, and we covenant with one another to see the mission accomplished. The Method of discipleship is gospel apprenticeship under loving, submitted authority. Discipleship is not just learning knowledge, it is learning how to live like Jesus. Jesus was under the authority of his Father as he discipled, and every equipped discipler is under another's authority. The Goal of discipleship is that we would change toward Christ-likeness. God loves us as we are, and he loves us so much, not to leave us as we are. God's goal for us is that we would look like Jesus (This is also where the discipleship triangle comes in). Lastly, the outcome of these principles is Reproducing. In other words, everyone discipled is looking to disciple others, who will disciple others in these principles.
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
On Sunday, April 8, we celebrated baptisms in our worship services. (Watch or listen to the sermon from April 8 online.) I hope you had the opportunity to be a part of these services. Baptism services are the highlights of my year. am inspired by the obedience of people publicly confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. I am encouraged by all of the joy and celebration when we all give standing ovations and cheers of affirmation for God's work. I also love baptism services because of the gospel reminder that they are. Baptism is about turning from our guilt and turning to God's grace.
Baptism reminds us that we go into the water guilty with our sin, and because of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension to God, our guilt is washed away. We go into the water guilty and we come out of the water innocent. Baptism reminds us of the great exchange. Jesus took on what we deserve, so that we could receive what Jesus deserves. Jesus was executed and an innocent man. Though he was innocent, he was crucified as if he was guilty. He took our place. As we give our lives to Jesus, just as he took our guilt, we get his innocence. Jesus got what we deserve and now we get what Jesus' deserves. We have all the approval of God. God treats us as innocent because we are baptized in Jesus' name. What a glorious exchange!
The next time you participate in a baptism service, preach the gospel to yourself. Remind your heart of the great exchange. Because of God's grace, Jesus got what we deserve, so that we can get what Jesus deserves.
This Sunday, we are beginning a new series on the book of Proverbs, called Seeking Extraordinary Wisdom. Wisdom is absolutely essential for success in life. Why? Because our lives are all about decisions, and many of the decisions we need to make are not so much about choosing right from wrong, but about what is the wisest right decision to make. God calls us to gain wisdom, for wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver and precious jewels. Name anything that we can look to for success in life, and God says his wisdom is more valuable than anything else. If we desire good in life, success in life, strength in relationships, etc., it all comes down to wise living and getting wisdom. This week we begin by learning from Proverbs 8.10-16, 22-31 with a sermon called Indispensable Wisdom.
In the Proverbs series, we’ll be talking about wisdom: what it is, how we can get it and what it looks like to live a wise life in the world today. We have a resource available in the café area to go along with the sermon series: “God's Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs,” by Timothy Keller. This is a hardcover book and available for purchase for $14.
On March 25, Faith Community hosted a Faith Forum on “The Gospel and Immigration,” featuring guest speakers, Matt Soerens and Liz Dong. Learn more and listen to the audio recording at fcchudson.com.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Faith Community Church hosts Faith Forums to offer biblical perspective on a variety of culturally relevant topics. The next Faith Forum is scheduled for Sunday, April 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on “The Gospel and Human Trafficking.” We have invited Rachel Paulose to speak on the topic. During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, Rachel oversaw landmark prosecutions of white collar crime (including securities, health care and public corruption cases), narcotics and firearms trafficking cartels, and civil commitment of sexual predators. As the chief federal law enforcement officer for the District of Minnesota, Rachel tripled child pornography prosecutions and initiated the first ever prosecutions of human trafficking and aggravated identity theft. During the Faith Forum, Rachel will address human trafficking and what people of faith can do to understand what it is, why it is important, and what they can do to help fight it. The evening will include a period of Q & A (questions and answers) following Rachel’s presentation.
Rachel is a partner with DLA Piper in Minneapolis, Minn., and concentrates her practice on government investigations; commercial, healthcare and securities litigation; and compliance issues that concern multinationals. Rachel was the first Indian American woman to be nominated by a U.S. president and unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve in any federal appointment. She was the youngest person, the first Asian American and the first woman to lead the District of Minnesota as United States Attorney. Rachel earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Minnesota and is a graduate of Yale Law School. Rachel attends FCC and invests love and time into teaching in LifeShaping.
CHILD CARE will be available during the Faith Forum for children through age 5. If you need child care for the event, please register by THIS Sunday, April 15, so we can plan for nursery workers. Thank you!
FCC DIRECTORY – SIGN UP FOR A PHOTO SESSION!
Be a part of our new FCC family directory–we need YOU to make it complete! Each individual or family photographed will receive a complimentary 8x10 photograph and free directory for participating. Find more information and sign up online for a photo session today at this link.