Advent 2017:: Asking Better Questions at Christmas The goal is to make much of Jesus over the Christmas season. So much so that it affects how we celebrate and talk about Christmas.
The goal is to make much of Jesus over the Christmas season. So much so that it affects how we celebrate and talk about Christmas.
We celebrate Advent in anticipation of Christ. Christmas looks back to the greatest of God’s revealing of His person and plan, Jesus. Christmas looks ahead with the eyes of faith for Christ’s second Advent.
Taking time to think on what it means that God came to be with us has a clarifying effect on our days and weeks leading up to Christmas. At PAXnorth this year we want you to Ask Better Questions this Christmas.
November 26 Introduction to Advent
Why and How should We Celebrate Christmas? [The Promise of Christmas] Micah 5:1-5
Advent Week 1 – December 3
Why Did Jesus Need to Come to Earth? [The Hope of Christmas] Isaiah 60:1-3; Romans 8:1-3
Advent Week 2 – December 10
Why did Jesus’ Mom Need to be Virgin? [The Miracle of Christmas] [Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; Philippians 2:5-11]
Advent Week 3 – December 17
What Makes Jesus Superior to Other saviours? [The Grace of Christmas] Genesis 3:15; Romans 5:12-21
Advent Week 4 – Christmas Eve
What Does Christmas Mean? [The Surety of Christmas] Isaiah 7:14; 9-6-8; Revelation 19:11-16
Advent – Christmas Day [ a worship at home resource]
What is the Greatest Gift We Can Ever Receive? [The Gift of Christmas] Luke 2:1-20
Our Fall Series Kicks off Sept 10th
Join us at 4pm
The book of Jonah is not your normal book about a prophet.
In 48 verses God gives us a powerful picture of His relentless grace.
We’ll be tackling some big sweeping questions through the directed lens of Jonah:
… and more!
Where is everyone?- could be you this Sunday
We’d love for you to join us for the entire weekend or simply for Sunday worship. Here’s the directions: MAP
If you need a ride or further details email email@example.com
PENTECOST -Sermon delivered by C.H. Spurgeon- May 24th, 1963
Here’s the full quote that I shared this past Sunday, Oct2, 2016
“How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! It is not possible for us to promote the glory of God or to bless the souls of men, unless the Holy Ghost shall be in us and with us. Those who were assembled on that memorable day of Pentecost, were all men of prayer and faith; but even those precious gifts are only available when the celestial fire sets them on a blaze. They were all men of experience; most of them had been preachers of the Word and workers of miracles; they had endured trials and troubles in company with their Lord, and had been with them in his temptation. Yet even experienced Christians, without the Spirit of God, are weak as water. Among them were the apostles and seventy evangelists, and with them were those honoured women in whose houses the Lord had often been entertained, and who had ministered to him of their substance; yet even these favoured and honoured saints can do nothing without the breath of God the Holy Ghost. Apostles and evangelist dare not even attempt anything alone; they must tarry at Jerusalem till power be given them from on high. It was not a want of education; they had been for three years in the college of Christ, with perfect wisdom as their tutor, matchless eloquence as their instructor, and immaculate perfection as their example; yet they must not adventure to open their mouths to testify of the mystery of Jesus, until the anointing Spirit has come with blessed unction from above. Surely my brethren, if so it was with them, much more must it be the case with us. Let us beware of trusting to our well-adjusted machineries of committees and schemes; let us be jealous of all reliance upon our own mental faculties or religious vigour; let us be careful that we do not look too much to our leading preachers and evangelists, for if we p ut any of these in the place of the Divine Spirt, we shall err most fatally. let us thank God for all gifts and for all offices, but oh, let us ever be reminded that gifts and offices are but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, unless the quickening influence be present.”
4th annual LABOUR DAY CAMPING WEEKEND!
PAXnorth is camping this weekend! We are being hosted by Blomidon Bible Camp.
We will be sharing our worship time with our daughter church plant, Grace Village Church.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US FOR BOTH or EITHER (camp or worship on Sunday)
Want to join in on the camping? contact firstname.lastname@example.org right away for the details.
Want to join in on the shared worship service in the valley? Meet at PAXnorth Church for noon on Sunday and carpool to the Valley.
NEXT WEEK :: PAXworship will be back on for 4pm and at our church space at 2535 Robie St, Halifax, NS
New Time: 4PM
New Location: 2535 Robie Street (All Nations Church)
Just around the corner from our old location (Souls Harbour Church)
Here’s the directions!
Hope to see ya there!
PAXnorth Worship service is still a go today! Take a break from your shovelling fun, come, take a break, grab and coffee and worship!
I Timothy 2 is a preachers land mine!
Remind me to thank the apostle Paul someday.
God uses Paul to press into the church at Ephesus what their stance or conduct should be in the areas of politics, church function and gender-roles. The principles that are laid out in these touchy passages still hold true for the church today that wants to behave as the household of the living God, as a true part of the pillar and buttress of the truth of God (key verse). They become the regulatory principles for the biblical church.
The principles must continue to be true in our churches even if we might not need to make application in exactly the same way Paul does for the church in Ephesus. Caution though– often times we lean hard into application, so much so that we actually soften, change or throw out entirely the biblical principle. Paul’s very instruction to the proper conduct for the church is found in the principles- which cannot be changed without stepping outside of God’s regulatory principles for life as a Biblical church.
In dealing with the principles for godly men in the church Paul, here, gives us a succinct and clear picture. “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.” I won’t attempt to capture everything that this means for the men of the local church (that sermon is here) but it is noteworthy to mention:
~ the principle for men in the church is a life marked by a posture of active holy prayer. This captures both the stance of the heart (holy) and the actions of the hands (actively motivated as a response of worship)
~ the ‘check your mirrors’ application for guys it is often with what we spend our time and energy doing that mirrors the condition of our heart. Holy hearts given to seeking God result in holy hands active in worship.
Hearts bent on ego, opinion, self-rightness, a need to be applauded, worshipped or in flexing our status muscles- mirrors itself in the reactions of a heart bent on anger and quarrelling.
We spent quite a bit of time making application for men in the church, the push is that it is in prayer that this battle is fought. It is in prayer that this fight can be won against our own selfishness. It is in a humble posture of acceptance and calling out to God for the work of His Son to transform our hearts, from the need to be right to allowing him to have the rights over our lives, that we find renewed authority. Authority that is an application of Christ’s authority in all the corners of our lives. This is the godly authority that lives out Ephesians 5:25-33 kind of love, as a godly man. This is an authority that can only be applied as we preach a clear gospel to our hearts- in prayer.
Questions and comments
This gets us to the questions and comments that were shared on Sunday after the sermon:
1) What is the reference for “the fight is not against flesh and blood?”
An interesting thought as we navigate these verses- the book of Ephesians was written to the same congregation that Timothy pastored. It is with the book of Ephesians that provides some of the backdrop application for the charge that Paul gave Timothy to act out in the church. Ephesians 6:12 is the direct quote for this passage of realizing that our fight is not primarily against the struggles we often make it. Not against a bad government, or a dysfunctional church, or a person in our lives. The real fight is a spiritual fight- a fight behind the fight. A fight that can only be fought in seeking, asking, knocking, calling, submitting to the spiritual work of God in our lives. A fight that is best fought in a place of prayer. It’s the same language that Paul uses in I Timothy 1:18 as he encourages Timothy to take up the charge of fighting the spiritual fight for the church.
2)What does a woman do when she wants to submit to the authority that is in her life (husband or father), but he is being selfish and not fulfilling his role?
Great question and comment. The reality is there are many men who live selfish and are demonstrating they are not living out a godly expression of spiritual authority. When men refuse to live out of a true spiritual authority exercised in prayer first and gospel love second all those who are under the influence of this authority suffer, in various degrees.
There is no one simple answer to this question. This link might help with some of the hard work of building a more stable relationship with the hope that a gospel-centered approach will break through and bring repentance where needed, and redemption where possible. Stuck in a Relationship
Hoping for this, but there are times when we need some very direct outside help. If you are someone who is getting hit, abused or being manipulated in ways that are causing deep harm – this is something you cannot overcome by yourself. We do church in community so that you’ll have a place to get help. Elders are to be godly men who are able to speak into the authority of others in the church. You need to talk to your Pastor- today! He may need to call in other authorities to help bring to bear the weight of repentance and help that an abusing man needs to get in his life in order to stop hurting others to this degree. Call your pastor today! Press him to get help lined up for your situation right away. [If its hard for you to talk to or open up to your pastor- tell someone you feel will listen and who can go with you or on your behalf to the pastor/elder].
If he doesn’t seem to be moving on this- you need to call your mental health crisis help line. We have dealt with ours in Halifax, N.S. They are courteous and able to get you the kind of contacts/help you might need. Halifax Crisis help line
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.” – MEN- LET’S PRAY FOR OUR CHURCHES!
Three things you should never talk about::Politics, Church and Gender Roles
We started the precarious walk through I Timothy 2 last week. Typically after someone has read our text on Sunday, during worship, they end with reminding the congregation, “This is the Word of God”. The congregation then affirms, which has been part of church history, their willingness to submit to the text with a response of, “Praise be to God.” This week at PAXnorth was different… after I Timothy 2 was read, their was the reminder, “This is the Word of God.” The reply that came back as an encouragement to the deer-in- a headlight Pastor was- “Good Luck!” – it was a great, funny and tone setting moment- truly a reflection of the culture of our church.
The preaching and conversations over the next two to three weeks may be difficult ones. God’s design for the church:: Designed for Authority and Influence [Politics, Church and Gender Roles] I am thankful that PAXnorth does not shy away from these conversations and together seeks to place ourselves under the word of God.
We had some great discussions after the sermon on Sunday regarding Designed for Authority and Influence :: Politics
A couple of Questions and Comments from Sunday:
“You mentioned prayer and prayerfully considered voting as acceptable means of Christian influence in politics. Are their others? Are there things we should not do as believers?
“How can Paul’s desire for us to have peaceful quiet lives under political authority be reconciled with the observable history that the Church thrives under oppression (i.e. China, 1st century church) Doesn’t this ideal conflict with the reality?
These are very helpful and practical questions that call us as those who are Christians to consider how we are actively living as good citizens of heaven first and Canada/Nova Scotia/Halifax second. We talked about on Sunday the sense of living in holiness, seeking the peace of where we live, so that the Gospel might have a much easier job of being proclaimed and lived – must be a key point in our political considerations and actions. For God desires that all we be saved and be able to come out of their ignorance of His great plan of redemption – this is definitely the main point of Paul’s instructions regarding praying for our rulers, I Timothy 2:1-7.
Here is a bit more from Desiring God- on what a Christian response, life or action might look like in keeping Paul’s instructions to us as believers. Thanks Jordan K for posting this link.
Should Christians start revolutions? Or just live quietly?
Remember part of being good citizens is exercising the right to vote. Vote in such a way as to prayerfully enjoy the freedom to live and share the Gospel. “Pray for those in the high positions in our country” May we see a revival of the Gospel across Canada!
GET IN ON THE CONVERSATION but remember:
We don’t purpose to be able to solve all the mysteries and difficulties of faith lived out. But we are willing to wrestle through them openly and honestly. Saying that, we expect respectful answers and comments (we won’t repost disrespect) and we don’t post anonymous comments. Being in community, as a church demands both that we are known by each other and that we err on the side of respectful conversation (grace).
Sermon #2 from I Timothy 1:12-20
THE GOSPEL AS THE MEANS OF CHANGE
Our intern Vaclav helps us tackle of couple of the questions that were asked on Sunday.
Q. After we have been saved and as we study the Word of God, should others be seeing a change in us? When we meditate on our sin we will see our need for the gospel. But isn’t it easy to slip into a worldly sorrow and shame, being overwhelmed by the consequences of our sin? Should we not be moved rather to pure repentance and communion with Christ?
The apostle Paul said, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
In Luke 18:18-30 we read of the rich ruler who trusted in his own goodness, just as Saul (Acts 9:1-19), who later became the apostle Paul, trusted in his own goodness. Both met Jesus.
The ruler came to Jesus. Jesus came to Saul. But when confronted about their sin, the ruler felt only “worldly sorrow” and walked away very sad. But when Saul was confronted with his sin against Jesus he felt “godly sorrow” which led him to true repentance, a change of mind about God and about himself.
Why did one find joy in God and the other only sadness? Both have seen their sin, but one has seen it in the light of who Jesus is, and saw God’s kindness to him and has repented; and the other has seen only his sin and loved it too much to be able to look at God’s kindness, forbearance and patience toward him, felt only regret. Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” So it is always the same way how we come to God or turn back to him, by looking at, contemplating and believing the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ.
When we see God’s kindness to us sinners, it will lead us to repentance, a change of mind, which will turn to a “pure devotion to Christ”. (2 Corinthians 11:3) And that is only because of the grace of God.
Need a little more on how transformation happens in the life a Christian?
Take a few minutes to read Transformation