With great excitement, we, the pastors, look forward to studying the Gospel this summer in both cooperate worship and Life Group (small groups). Starting June 24th and ending August 19th, the Life Groups will be walking through the study Gospel by J.D. Greear, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Each Thursday during the study, one of the pastors or Life Group leaders will post their answers to one of the key questions that will be discussed the following Sunday to help you as you prepare to share in your own Life Group. We hope this will serve you well as you seek greater knowledge of our Lord through greater understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Things to Know:
- If you are not involved in a Life Group you can let us know you are interested HERE
- You can get a member book for the study at the Life Group table in the Worship Center or you can get one by attending a LG (For a complete listing of our Life Groups click HERE
Below is an introduction to the study from John Peavy, one of our church members and a member of our newly found writing and resource team.
– Daniel Barta
Gospel Introduction by John Peavy
God cannot lie. This fact sometimes escapes us as we consider the Bible. Within His word are thousands of prophecies. He makes promises to those who love and follow Him and also to those who turn away from Him. When we think about the Old Testament verses that foretold the details of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and return, do we pause to consider that these are all the fulfillment of God’s word?
We need to understand that at the heart of God’s word is a message that He longs to have a fellowship with each of us. Over time, we have allowed our sins, religious traditions, and ignorance to keep a barrier between us. We cling to these with a fervor that borders on fanaticism.
Often we hear that sin clings to us. The truth is that unforgiven sin clings to us. It is we in our own sin nature who cling to forgiven sins. We listen to that little voice that tells of a sin too bad for God to forgive or the reminder that we did it before and therefore are still guilty. Acts 10:43 reminds us that not only did God tells many times that Christ’s death and resurrection would remove our sins, but that He has been telling us since the beginning of time. Faith in Christ is all we need to get rid of our sins forever. So tell Satan and your guilt to take a hike.
Our ignorance of God’s word has robbed us of this hope. Within the pages of the Bible are tales of others who faced the same hardships, troubles, decisions, losses, and failures that we know too well. We find the same God ready to save and empower us now as they found then. Reading through these sweet reminders we cannot come to any other conclusion that the realization that, regardless of how deep the pit or dark the moment may be, we can trust in God to deliver when He said He would. We find there that Christ is the fulfillment of God’s plan to provide us hope.
From the beginning, God only had one plan – Jesus.
The cleansing of our sins by Christ was done so that our hearts would also be changed. It is a necessary change as clearly shown in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. There we find that it is not a change in behavior that moves us closer to God but a change of heart. Too often we take on routines and burdens because we think that is what we are supposed to do as Christians. We misunderstand James 2:14-26 and think our faith comes from what we do. The reality is that because of the change in us, our love for God, and the movement of the Holy Spirit within us, we are also moved to take actions that we would not have done before. We see ourselves, others, and the world around us differently. God’s love overflows our hearts into the lives around us. We are able to know that we have a close fellowship with God because we feel the desire to know Him more and therefore read His word; see the suffering of others and cannot rest until we meet their needs; feel pain for those who are suffering so deeply that we are moved as well; or serve Him by using the spiritual gifts granted to us wherever He calls us to go.
We have the opportunity to rediscover the Gospel over the next several weeks. For those who are not already part of a Life Group, there is room for you. If you are interested, please Follow the link to let us know: https://forestville.tpsdb.com/OnlineReg/365. We look forward to connecting you with a Life Group!