Fellowship Bible Church - Songs from August & September 2017 Services

I took a little break from doing a weekly recap of our weekend services, partly to see how helpful or necessary it is. Perhaps a recap of what we sing month-to-month might be more valuable, to have all the songs in one place. Here's what we sang together over the months of August and September this year, along with the versions that we drew from in our preparation. 

Please let me know if you have any questions!

  • "Brokenness Aside" [All Sons & Daughters]
  • "Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
  • "How Can It Be" [Lauren Daigle]
  • "Lord I Need You" [Chris Tomin, Matt Maher]
  • "How Deep The Father's Love For Us" [Austin Stone Worship/Stuart Townend]
  • "In My Place" [The Village Church Worship]
  • "Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
  • "Grace Alone" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
  • "I Stand Amazed" [traditional/ Chris Tomlin]
  • "I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
  • "Before The Throne" [The Modern Post]
  • "Lamb of God" [Vertical Church Worship Band]
  • "O Come to the Altar" [Elevation Worship]
  • "By Our Love" [Christy Nockels]
  • "In Tenderness" [Citizens & Saints]
  • "God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
  • "Good Good Father" [Housefires II]
  • "Jesus Take All of Me" [Brenton Brown]
  • "Only a Word" [original]
  • "The Lion & The Lamb" [Leeland Mooring/Bethel Worship]
  • "Hosanna" [Hillsong]
  • "O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]
  • "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
  • "Rejoice" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
  • "Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]
  • "Your Great Name" [Michael Neale/Natalie Grant]
  • "Because of Your Love" [Phil Wickham]
  • "Jesus, You" [original]
  • "It Is Finished" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
  • "Son of God" [Starfield]
  • "This I Believe" [Hillsong]
  • "This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham/Bethel Worship]

Fellowship Bible Church - 05/06 - 05/07/2017

This weekend, we wrapped up our generosity series, The Flow of Everything, and we looked at what could be possible if all the church joined together to bless our community and our world with what we have. We also had our annual event, Sharefest, where we partnered with more than 30 churches in the city to bless area schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Topeka Rescue Mission by doing much-needed landscaping work and projects. It is always a beautiful picture of the church in action.

For our singing, we focused on how abundantly and graciously God has provided for our redemption through the cross. We concluded our services by celebrating communion together, remembering the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. He has done great things for us!

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Worthy of Your Name" [Passion Worship Band]
"It Is Finished" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Lord I Need You" [Passion Worship Band]
"Jesus Paid It All" [Traditional, Alex Nifong, Passion Worship Band]

It was a great weekend together! I am excited about what the Lord is doing in the Church in Topeka, and it is awesome to be a part of it through Fellowship.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 04/29 - 04/30/2017

This weekend, we continued our Flow of Everything series about living a generous life. This continues to be a challenging series as we examine how God has blessed us and how we respond to that blessing with what God has entrusted to us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Worthy of Your Name" [Brett Younker, Sean Curran, Passion Worship Band]
"The Solid Rock" [The Dispatch]
"Grace Alone" [The Modern Post, Dustin Kensrue]
"10,000 Reasons" [Matt Redman]
"Because of Your Love" [Phil Wickham]

We introduced a newer song this weekend, "Worthy of Your Name" which came out of Passion 2017. Several of our college students attended the event and came back talking about the song, so I have been looking forward to introducing it to our church family. There was some thought about incorporating it into our Easter services, but we didn't have enough lead time to do so effectively. It's a tricky song to find the right key for congregational singing because the original vocalist has such a high range. But, we'll keep toying with it to try to find the best key for our church. For the rest of our singing this weekend, we focused on the grace and goodness of God, and called each other (and ourselves) to respond with a life of worship to who He is and what He has done for us. It was a great weekend together!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 4/22 - 4/23/2017

This weekend, we began a new series about living a generous life: "The Flow of Everything." it was a great start to the series as we looked at God as the source of absolutely everything we have.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service: "You Are God Alone (Not a God)" [Billy & Cindy Foote]
"Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"Good Good Father" [Housefires]
"Son of God" [Starfield]

We had some challenges to overcome this weekend with team members getting sick or injured (at one point there was the possibility of me leading from the drums– yikes!), but the Lord provided and brought a team together that did a great job serving and leading. 

Fellowship Bible Church - Easter - 04/15 - 04/16/2017

It's late! But here is our recap of our Easter services together last weekend, anyway!

It was our first Easter weekend together in our new worship center building, which makes it much easier for our congregation to hear one another singing. It made for a powerful time of singing, celebration, and worship together!

Here's what we sang together to celebrate the Faith, Hope, and Love that we have because of the risen Christ:

Pre-service - "Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)" [Bethel Music]
"Rejoice" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong Worship]
"No Longer Slaves" [Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser]

Fellowship Bible Church - 04/01 - 04/02/2017

This week, we concluded our Way of Life series through the Sermon on the Mount. It was a great study, and I think we all were impacted in some way by the life-changing contained in these powerful three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew.

This week, we were looking at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:24-29, where Jesus describes the wise man who builds his house on the rock (Jesus), and the foolish man who builds his life on the sand. The first two songs that came to mind when we were looking ahead to this weekend were the great hymn "The Solid Rock" and "Two Sets of Jones'" by Big Tent Revival. I hadn't played the latter in probably close to two decades, so it was fun to break it out and share it with our congregation, many of whom were very young when it was originally released. It was a last-minute addition to the set after we had some late illness and injuries take out one of our leaders for the weekend, but I'm glad it made it in. I heard quite a few nostalgic comments, where people shared the impact that the song or the band had on their formative years in their walk with Jesus.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Two Sets of Jones'" [Big Tent Revival]
"Grace Alone" [The Modern Post, Dustin Kensrue]
"The Solid Rock" [Edward Mote, arr. by The Dispatch]
"Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" [Charlotte Elliott, Brenton Brown]
"Because Of Your Love" [Phil Wickham]

It was a great weekend, and a great way to conclude this series. I'm looking forward to Easter in two weeks!

Have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 03/26 - 03/27/17

It has been a while! It's been a busy month, but it's time to get back on the wagon with the blog posts recapping our weekends. This weekend was our next to last in our series through the Sermon on the Mount,  The Way of Life. In his message, Joe talked about the narrow way and the wide way, and the influences that will lead us down one path or the other. This is one of the more difficult teachings of Jesus, but it was a powerful challenge to follow after Jesus because His way leads to life.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"The Solid Rock" [Edward Mote, The Dispatch]
"Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
"The Lion And The Lamb" [Leeland Mooring, Bethel]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin, Passion Worship Band]

It was a unique weekend for me, in that I was leading from the bass guitar. I have never led a weekend here from the bass, so it was exciting and challenging. It requires a bit of a different mentality and rhythm of playing, so it took some extra focus to do along with singing, but I really enjoyed the stretch. The team did a solid job leading, and it was a great weekend of worship together.

For the songs we sang, we focused on Jesus as the foundation and forerunner of our faith, as expressed in Hebrews 12:1-2. He is everything we need for faith, for life, and for our eternity. He supplies us with the wisdom, strength, and guidance to follow Him. As He says in John 15, we cannot bear any good fruit apart from Him. Those truths directed our singing time together throughout the weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Worship Night - 02/26/17

Here's what we sang together for our worship night with the focus of rest - resting in the finished work of Jesus for us, as laid out in Hebrews 4.

Foundation for Rest
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand []
I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) [Traditional]
O Come to the Altar {Elevation Worship]
Your Name [Paul Baloche]
No Longer Slaves [Bethel Worship]
Practicing Rest - Message/Communion /Prayer
Carried to the Table [Leeland]
Grace Flows Down [Passion/Christy Nockels]
Good, Good Father [Housefires]
Restless [Audrey Assad]
How Deep the Father's Love for Us [Stuart Townend]
Beautiful [Phil Wickham]
In Tenderness [The Northwest Collective/Citizens & Saints]
Celebrating our Rest
The Solid Rock [The Dispatch]
Rock of Ages {Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
Before the Throne [The Modern Post]
The Lion and The Lamb [Leeland/Bethel Worship]
It is Finished [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]

 

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/25 - 02/26/17

We had a great weekend together as we continued our series through the Sermon on the Mount, The Way of Life. This weekend, the focus was on our secret practices, and how God is more concerned with our relationship to Him and who we are in private than with how we seek to impress other people. It was a great weekend, and I think we were all challenged to focus more on our internal lives and private practices than performing for others.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Your Love is Strong" [Jon Foreman]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, The Modern Post]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong United]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/17 - 02/18/17

This weekend Pastor Joe looked at Matthew 5:38-48 and focused on Jesus' call to forgiveness versus revenge. It was a powerful challenge for our relationships. For our singing, we focused on songs that reminded us of the forgiveness that we have been shown by the Lord through the sacrifice of Jesus, and how Ephesians 2:14 reminds us that "He Himself is our peace." 

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "How Can It Be" [Lauren Daigle]
"This Is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"You Have Overcome" [Bill Horn]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"It Is Well" {North Point Community Church/Lauren Daigle]

It was another great weekend together!

Have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/11 - 02/12/2017

This weekend we looked at Jesus' challenge to us to keep our word, both in marriage and in the promises we make. In his message, Pastor Joe shared how marriage and keeping our word is a picture of the gospel and the promises that God gives us through Christ. When promises–especially marriage vows–are kept, they remind us of God's faithfulness in His relationship with us as His people.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Nothing But The Blood" [Andy Cherry, Robert Lowry]
"Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue, The Modern Post]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post]
"Good Good Father" [Housefires]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

In our singing, we focused on themes of God's grace for us, Christ being our Atonement and Advocate and Mediator, God's faithful love for us, and our desperate need for the Lord to be our Righteousness. It was a moving weekend together, as we have all been touched in some way by the brokenness and pain of divorce in our culture, and know the deep need we have for restoration, reconciliation, forgiveness, and repentance in our lives and marriages. May God gives us grace and strength to be people who keep our word and reflect His faithful love to the world around us.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/04 - 02/05/2017

This weekend for our Way of Life series, Pastor Joe shared Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount about adultery and lust. It was a challenging message for all, and reminded us just how much we need the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "All The Poor And Powerless" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]

For our singing, we focused on themes of our own helplessness apart from Christ's work for us and in us, the salvation that only comes through Christ, the freedom that we have from sin and fear because of Christ, and the forgiveness that is available to us because of Christ.

It was a great weekend together, and the team did a fantastic job preparing and leading. It was great to be back after my trip to the Philippines, albeit a little jet-lagged! I hope to post a little about my trip at some point, but it may be a week or so before I can get to that.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 01/21 - 01/22/2016

This weekend was our second in our Way of Life series, and Pastor Joe dug into Matthew 5:17-20 to highlight the difference that Christ has called us to be in our identity and impact in this world. 

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Forever Reign" [Hillsong]

It was a great weekend. Our leaders and team did a great job giving their best and helping the congregation sing together in worship. Our songs focused on the character of God, which is what He calls us into by extension. He wants our lives to reflect His glory and character to the world around us, and He is the one who makes that transformation happen as we open our lives to His influence and walk in step with the Spirit. We closed with "Forever Reign" because it highlighted the contrast between God's character and our own apart from His work in our lives. It gave us an opportunity to confess our hearts to God and call each other to run to Him and to make Him the sole recipient of our lives' devotion. I think it was a fitting response song for Joe's message this weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

in the Son,

Bill

Matthew 5:3-12 Study Notes

Blessed (gr. makarioi) — blessed, with an internal emphasis, happy (external blessing – Mt. 25:34)

  • OT – offer of blessing but warning of curse. 
  • NT – no warning of curse. The New Covenant is greater than the Old because it is effective. It will transform and change. No curse need be threatened. Blessings alone are promised!            

is the kingdom (v. 3, 10) — Present tense. The kingdom of heaven begins when Christ rules in the hearts of His followers.

Shall  be... (v. 4-9) — Future tense. Fulfillment in part right now, but complete fulfillment in the eschaton, the end.

1. the poor in spirit — The word for poor comes from the word which means to crouch or to cringe, to shrink with fear, usually in association with utter destitution, poverty, and therefore begging.

2. those who mourn ­­— Those who lament over their spiritual lack, and recognize their sickness and their need for the Lord. They mourn not only for their own sin, but for the sin of the world around them. (2 Cor. 7:10)

“Confession is one thing, contrition is another.”
(
John StottThe Message of the Sermon on the Mount, p. 41)

3. the meek — Those who have a proper perspective of themselves because of poverty in spirit and resulting mourning; they are gentle to those around them, they treat others as they have been treated.  We have lost both the right and the material to boast.

4. those who hunger and thirst for righteousness — Progressive present, which could be properly translated as “those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness."

We need God’s righteousness to fill our lives, because we lack righteousness altogether.

5. the merciful — When we are poor, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty, we will be merciful with others, who—knowingly or not—are in the same spiritual condition as we are. We must recognize that God has been extremely merciful to us, and share that mercy with all, just as God has done. (Titus 3:3)

6. the pure in heart — The idea of purity is that of being undivided, unmixed, focused on only God. Soren Kierkegaard entitled his book about spiritual preparation Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing, which is a fitting picture of the biblical concept of purity. (James 4:8) 

7. the peacemakers — We are to be like Jesus Christ, who has made peace on the cross. We are not only to receive peace, but actively pursue peace. (Heb. 12:14, 2 Cor. 5:18)

The Result of truly following Christ is persecution (v. 10-12). Notice it is blessed when we suffer for Jesus’ sake. It is only for His sake when we are following Him. People will attack what they don’t understand. We are no longer of this world, so they will reject us like they rejected Jesus. When they reject us, we are to “jump and rejoice” because of our reward in heaven, for we are being likened to the prophets.

7 character traits—a symbol of complete Christian character.

Fellowship Bible Church - 01/14 - 01/15/2016

We had an interesting week, to be sure. There were many weather-related questions concerning the weekend, with a looming ice storm that threatened to hit right in the middle of our Saturday evening services and run through the night into Sunday morning. Because of the potential storm, we pre-recorded the service on Thursday afternoon so we could share it with the congregation just in case. However, we were able to get our Saturday 5 PM service in, but we canceled the remaining services to be safe and to keep our people off the roads as much as possible to prevent accidents due to icy conditions. As it turned out, the temperature danced around the freezing point, and the ice was minimal, but when we had to make the call, there was no way to know that for sure. Hindsight...

All that considered it was a great weekend. David Hinkle's message from Matthew 5:3-12 and the Beatitudes pointed us to the truth that our blessing comes to us externally because of what Jesus has done for us. His life, His righteousness, His character–they are shared with us as we depend on Him and look to Him for our satisfaction and our identity. It was a powerful message of the grace of God and being clothed in Christ.

For our singing, we focused on dependence, on the truth that we are children of God and He is our faithful Father, and on how we desperately need Him to lead us and guide us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

"All The Poor & Powerless" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Good, Good Father" [Housefires II]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

I hope you had a great weekend, whatever weather you were experiencing!

in the Son,

Bill

Matthew 5:1-2 Study Notes

“Seeing the crowds…” v.1

  • Jesus went “into the mountain” in order to get away from the rowds, or to get some relief from the crowds, where He could teach His true followers (see v. 2).

“He went into the mountain…” v.1

  • anebe eis to oros – “he went into the mountain” (see previous post)
  • Matthew was using a particular, uncommon phrasing in order to make a point.
  • This particular phrasing is only used in two other places in the Bible, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament).  Both of these occurances are in reference to Moses receiving the Law from God in Exodus 19.3, and Ex. 24.18.  Moses had prophesied of a prophet like him, but greater than him (Dt. 18.15, 18), and Matthew is making the case that Jesus is that one.  There are similarities throughout Matthew’s Gospel, which compare Jesus to Moses, as the bringer of the New Covenant Law.

“…and sat Himself down.” v.1

  • The posture of the teacher: seated, imparting knowledge to His disciples.

“His disciples came to Him…” v. 2

  • Note that His disciples came to Him, not just anyone who happened to be following Jesus around, as spectators.  These were the ones that believed in His teachings and sought to follow them.

“He opened His mouth and taught them.” v. 2

  • A Jewish idiom found elsewhere in the New Testament (Mt. 13:35; Acts 8:35, 10:34, 18:14), and in the Old Testament (Job 3:1, 33:2; Dan. 10:16). According to D.A. Carson, “it is used in solemn or revelatory contexts.”

Matthew 5:13-16 Study Notes

”You are”

  • In the Greek, Jesus is emphasizing the "you" part of this statement ("You, you are..."). He is making sure that we understand that it is solely the role of His followers, and no one else, to be the salt and the light of the world.

Salt — uses:

  • Preservation, purification (Ex. 30.35, Ez. 16.4)
  • herbicide or a destructive agent  (Deut. 29.23, Judges 9.45, Psalm 107.33-34, Jer. 17.6, Zeph 2.9)
  • seasoning (Mark 9.49)

What function are we supposed to serve here?

  • We are to be the purifying agent of the earth and the preservers of the truth.
  • We cannot be the preservers of the earth, because the earth is corrupt and decaying.

“of the earth” – of (genitive of reference), meaning salt as far as the earth is concerned.

  • We are to be in the world, but not of the world.

“loses its flavor” –to be made foolish, to be defiled. 

  • This expression suggests an Aramaic background.
  • What happens as a result of this?
  • If we lose our saltiness - or purity - how will we be purified?
  • When we lose our purity, we become counter-productive, and we become an agent of destruction rather than healing and purifying.

“thrown out and trampled underfoot” (katapateo) – walked around on, trampled with scorn and shame

  • When salt became impure or mixed with sand, it was good for nothing but to be thrown out.  It could not even be thrown in the dung heap because it would destroy what little value that the dung had as fertilizer, because it would kill the grass.
  • Therefore, it must be thrown on the heavily beaten path, where nothing grows anyway.  There, the “salt” becomes an object of scorn, because all it will do is destroy. 

Light Isaiah 9.1-2, Matthew 4.15-16

  • giving hope, and joy to those who are in darkness and gloom.

The City on a Hill: The glow of a city upon a hill in the night skyline.

A Lamp: in complete darkness (minus electricity) the slightest light is sufficient for all who are in the house.

“Let your light so shine”—before men, in the presence of, in front of men.

  • To glorify God our Father, not ourselves. This idea counters the exaggeration (by many) of chapter 6, saying that all good works should be hidden.
  • This is not righteousness for the sake of being righteous, nor is it righteousness in order to be seen by men.  It happens that we are seen while obeying our Master and Lord while we are in this world.

Ultimately, Jesus is calling us to remain pure and unmixed with the world so we do not lose our purifying and preserving function on the earth through the clear and faithful proclamation of the true gospel. He is calling us to also proclaim the gospel with hope, love, and grace, so that the world would see what we do and how we treat them, and give glory to God our Father.

Jesus, The Prophet Greater Than Moses

Last week our church, Fellowship Bible Church, began reading in the Gospel of Matthew as we introduced our new series, Way of Life, which will go through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Because of a great professor in seminary, Chuck Quarles, this passage of Scripture has become one of my favorite and most studied passages. Over the course of the series, I will share some of my study notes for those who might be interested.

The Gospel to the Hebrew People
Matthew's Gospel is often considered to have been written to the Hebrew people, with the aim of demonstrating that Jesus is the Messiah, promised in the Hebrew scriptures. Part of Matthew's tactic is to compare Jesus with the greatest prophet in Jewish history: Moses. While all other prophets heard the voice of the Lord through dreams and visions, Moses spoke with God face-to-face. He performed the greatest miracles in the history of the Hebrew people, freeing them from slavery in Egypt, providing food in the desert, and giving them the guidelines that would direct their walking with God for centuries.

A Greater Prophet
In Deuteronomy 18:15-19, as Moses is recounting the law for the Hebrew people, he tells of a greater prophet that would come after him. This prophet would be greater because the people would actually listen to him, and for anyone who did not listen, God would have stiff consequences.

"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers--it is to him you shall listen--just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' And the Lord said to me, 'They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.'"

Making the Connection
In the first five chapters of this gospel, Matthew goes to great lengths to show the similarities between Moses and Jesus. While Moses delivered the first Law, Jesus brought the New Law--the Law that would be written on the hearts of believers. Here are a few of the connections that Matthew makes:

  • Both were descendants of Abraham (and therefore Jews)
    • Moses was the son of Amram, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham (1 Chronicles 23)
    • Jesus genealogy in Matthew 1 shows that He is a descendant of David, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (see verses 1-6)
  • Both fled their homeland
    • Exodus 2:11-15
    • Matthew 2:13
  • A slaughter of innocent children surrounded their births
    • Exodus 1:16
    • Matthew 2:16
  • Both came out of Egypt
    • Exodus 13:3
    • Matthew 2:15
  • Both went through the water
    • Exodus 15 (the Red Sea crossing was considered a "baptism" in 1 Corinthians 10:2)
    • Matthew 3:13-17 (Jesus was baptized)
  • Both went into the wilderness immediately after going through the water
    • Exodus 15 and following
    • Matthew 4 (Jesus' temptation in the wilderness)
  • Both went "into" the mountain to deliver the Covenant Law
    • Exodus 19:3; 24:18 ("anebe eis to oros" in Greek)
    • Matthew 5:1 ("anebe eis to oros" in Greek)

Into the Mountain
This last point is possibly one of the most significant because it directly equates the authority of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to the authority of the prior Old Testament Law of Moses. This is something that is not readily apparent in the English translations, but it something that happens in the original languages. In Exodus 19:3 and 24:18, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, uses a curious directional preposition to describe how Moses went up the mountain. It says that "he went into the mountain" ("anebe eis to oros"). This phrasing is only used in the Old Testament when referring to Moses and his receiving of the Law from God. Here, in Matthew 5:1, Matthew writes that Jesus, "seeing the crowds, went into the mountain" ("anebe eis to oros"). This is the only place this peculiar phrasing is used, and it is used for a special purpose. Matthew is telling us and all of his Jewish readers that Jesus is the prophet that Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18. Jesus initiated the New Covenant, and the new "law" that is a part of that covenant. 

The New Law
This new law is the law of the heart, which is impossible for man to fulfill on his own. It can only be accomplished through the inner transformation that God works in us through His Spirit, as we are born again through faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Notice two statements, in particular: Matthew 5:20 and 5:47-48, which bracket Jesus' discussion on the common perspective of the Old Testament Law as compared with His divine perspective on the Law.

Matthew 5:20 - "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds (literally, "is more than") that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:47-48 - "And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

The scribes and Pharisees stuck to every single letter of the Law. They were so diligent, they even tithed from their spices. Jesus told His disciples that their righteousness must exceed perfection as measured by the letter of the Law. It must be more than that. It must be a righteousness that pervades our being, and that comes from the inside out--the kind of righteousness that comes from love rather than fear.

May we trust Jesus' word. May we hear Him and follow. May we pursue the righteousness that comes from love and not from fear. May our righteousness be more, not for our own sake, but to honor the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us. 

Fellowship Bible Church - 01/07 - 01/08/16

This weekend we began our spring series through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew–The Way of Life. The message this weekend was an introduction about why and how to listen to God. I'm really excited about this series because the Sermon on the Mount is so powerful and shows us the righteousness of God in such a striking and challenging way. 

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Lead Me to the Cross" [Hillsong United]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints / The Northwest Collective]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Chris Tomlin]

I hope you had a great weekend and that you are resting in the finished work of Jesus as your hope!

in the Son,
Bill