September Sermon Series: Temple of the Holy Spirit

(Pictured with her husband Zach, Emily’s the one on the right, just in case you were wondering)

This morning, we had the distinct pleasure to be blessed by Emily Shipman‘s maiden sermon at The Father’s House!

She wrapped up our September Sermon Series exploring different images of church and community, as found in Scripture, with a sermon about how the church family is also called to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

In our Old Testament (Ezekiel 37:1-14) she shared about how the Spirit breathes life into those dried up.

From the New Testament Reading (1 Corinthians 12:1-13) she shared about how spiritual gifts given by the one Spirit in unity “for the common good” – this is always their purpose. In fact, our common good is about unity in diversity, not despite diversity.

From the Gospel reading (John 14:15-27), she shared about how the Holy Spirit is promised as well as personal, with New Testament references showing how He leads believers, bears witness, loves, grieves, intercedes, cries out.

In fact, the Greek word for Him is παράκλητος, which can be understood as a court-room term for someone who advocates for the defendant, defends and strengthens when accused, offers counsel and aid, encouragement when depressed, grants assurance and hope.

The Holy Spirit is also the “Spirit of Truth” Who “testifies on behalf of Christ”. He inspires faith – which comes through the hearing of the Word of God.

Finally, tying it all together in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Emily shared about how, in the context of Corinth, she preached about how our bodies joined with Christ as “the temple of the Holy Spirit” – united in goal, aided in our weakness by the same Spirit. As being filled with with the Holy Spirit, therefore, we should be the body of Christ in the world – sent out for reconciliation, forgiveness, proclamation, justice and to give in to things that destroy the body.

September Sermon Series: A Holy Nation – Leigh

This morning, as part of our September sermon series exploring biblical images of Christian community, Leigh shared with us what it meant to be a Holy Nation.

He led off with the idea that a Holy Nation is defined as a community of people who are set apart and made whole by God with a common language, culture,  identity, history and destiny.

Next, he shared how a Holy Nation – being intertwined with the concept of states and citizenship – is one that dispenses rights but also demands responsibilities. To illustrate this, he talked about our responsibilities to our own countries and how it parallels the responsibilities of being a part of God’s Holy Nation. Even as God made the first move to rescue Israel out of Egypt – He also entered into a covenant with them, which included requirements and responsibilities; most notably, the 10 commandments that immediately followed the invitation in Exodus 19:1-7.

Finally, Leigh talked about how – for us – all of us are called to be that Holy Nation, but it isn’t easy; it’s practically living in two worlds at the same time. The demands and calls for living according to God’s covenant often puts us in conflict with those of the world. Even so, God’s call comes with God’s power to follow His covenant call in the world. And that is what will carry us through to the end.

Leigh has also made his slides available here:

Note – there is supposed to be a video on slide #19 which can be viewed here:

September Sermon Series: A Royal Priesthood

We are now into our third week of our September series exploring different images of church and community, as found in Scripture.

This week, Rev. Augustin explores what it means to be a member of the Royal Priesthood (I Peter 2:9).

The priest, originally, was appointed by God to intercede on behalf of the people. It is interesting and important to note that the priesthood is not something we can choose or volunteer for. In fact, it is initiated by God when He call us.

According to the Bible, the priest’s responsibility was to:

  • intercede on behalf of others for God’s blessings to be poured out into their lives
  • pour out the grace and power of God into the lives of those around us

Unfortunately, over time and throughout history, the idea of a priest changed into a sort of “elevated” position. Martin Luther restored the idea of the Church community being priests especially over two key points:

  • All of us have the privilege of access to God
  • All of us have the responsibility of serving

Thus, we are all called to be priests to everyone around us. It is our responsibility to intercede on behalf of others for God’s blessings to be poured out into their lives as well as to pour out the grace and power of God into the lives of those around us. Now, this cannot be done without true care and concern for those around us.

As priests, God therefore calls us to a whole new level of caring for the people we represent!

With today being Malaysia Day, the one thing we can do for the country is to be priests for the nation – to intercede on behalf of the nation to God. We should be like the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, who give themselves no rest as they call on the Lord (Isaiah 62:6). Can we certainly take our prayers up a notch – not giving ourselves rest as we call on the Lord?

September Sermon Series: People Of God: Peculiar Enough For You?

This week, Alpha shared a meditation on what it meant to be “the people of God”. Speaking from 1 Peter 2:4-12, he talked about how the peculiar people of God are simultaneously world-hated and world-blessings.

Alpha has made his Prezi presentation available here:

September Sermon Series: The Community of God (The Body Of Christ)

This week, to kick off our September Sermon Series: Bibilical Images of Church and Community, John shared with us a meditation on what it meant to be the community of God – or, as the biblical picture depicts us, “the Body of Christ.”

John shared many interesting insights – interspersed with his own personal stories – about what it meant to be a community: that we are defined by the fruits that we bear, rather than the seed we are sown from. It is thus important for us to not just be hearers of the Word but also doers of the Word.

In so doing, we truly live and reflect what it means to be the Body of Christ.

September Sermon Series: Biblical Images of Church and Community

Following feedback from our recent church camp as well as how we are growing as a church family, we are going to embark on a sermon series this September exploring the various biblical pictures that God uses to describe His people – the Church.

September Sermon Series: Bibilical Images of Church and Community

We hope you will join us for this series!