Sermons by Minister

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The Church For The Other

May 19, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Acts 2:1-13.1. Do you ever have trouble seeing the big picture the Bible paints? Is it challenging to ‘connect the dots’ when you consider what God is up to in the great span of cosmic history and human experience? When we go on a journey, we note progressive signposts or waymarks that point to our destination. Read Genesis 1:2; Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 37:1-10; John 3:1-12, John 14:15-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Romans 8:1-11 and Galatians 5:22-23. Now, connect the signposts. In what direction are they pointing?2. Are you a patient…

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The Mystery Revealed

May 12, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. What does Paul call himself in verse 1? Why? How does Jesus ‘take’ prisoners? (Read Acts 22:22-29)2. What had the Ephesian church heard concerning Paul and the extending of God’s grace, mystery, and revelation given to him in verses 2-3? (See Galatians 1:11-17)3. What is this multi-facet mystery in Christ as Paul explains it here in verse 6? Discuss his use of the terms children, body and promise.4. What is God’s purpose in forming the church as expressed verse 10? Who are the rulers and authorities Paul mentions? Wha…

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Family Portrait

May 5, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 2:11-221. Re-read verses 11-13. Now, take a few minutes to read Genesis 17. What is the significance of circumcision? Now, read Romans 4:1-17. Paul cites when Abraham was justified. What is the significance and why is it important? Why is this section here? What is the application for us?2. Re-read verses 14-18. What does it mean that He is our peace? What was Christ’s purpose on earth? How did he do it? Why did he do it? What is the good news for you in these verses?3. Re-read verses 19-22. Have you ever seen Christianity…

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Bridge Building

April 28, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 2:1-101. In verse 1 Paul says we were dead. Then, in verse 3 he says we used to live that way. How can you live if you are dead? What is Paul trying to communicate in these first three verses?2. In verse 5 we read God gave us life through the Resurrection of Jesus. How does that work? What is the link? Why is it so important to be tied so closely to Jesus Christ?3. Discuss verse 8. What does it mean to be saved (from what?) by grace (what is grace?). What are we saved to or for?4. In verse 10 we are called "God's masterp…

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Unmet Expectations

April 21, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 1:15-23.1. Paul describes two characteristics of the Ephesian church in 1:15. What are they? Are these traits descriptive of our church? Are they descriptive of you? Why or why not?2. In 1:17, Paul prays for a spirit of “wisdom” and “revelation” for the Ephesian church. These words are not a desire for secret knowledge but rather a deeper understanding about God and his ways. What wisdom and revelation did Paul wish for the Ephesian church given what follows in this passage?3. In 1:18-19, Paul prays that &…

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Wallowing In Grace

April 7, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Spend a few minutes reflecting on your experience of church, past and present. What do you hope for the future of a church?Read Ephesians 1:1-22. The Author: This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.Who is the author? Unpack as much information about him as you can (see also Acts 9:1-19; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1)Here Paul deals with the matter of identity. How important is one’s identity? What can happen if you lose your identity or it is stolen?3. The Recipients: I am writing to…

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Not Here. Gone Ahead.

March 31, 2013 by Barry Parker

We have just been through the harrowing events of Good Friday, and now we are basking in the glory of Easter, the Day of the Resurrection. The fundamental reality is that you cannot have one – the Death of Jesus – without the other – the Resurrection of Jesus. Read Mark 14:32 - 15:47. Then read Mark 16:1-8. Read slowly and read both passages out loud.1. What jumps out at you? What is important to learn from this expanse of narrative?2. Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:3-11. What is the Old Testament connection to Good Friday?3. Rea…

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I Hate Roller Coasters

March 24, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 11:1-10 as well as Matthew 21:1-9; Luke 19:29-38; and John 12:12-15. All four Gospel writers tell the story of the same event. What are the similarities and differences? What do you make of the differences you found?2. Mark 11 signals a major transition, where Jesus finally enters Jerusalem, beginning what we call Passion Week. He will spend the rest of the week in Jerusalem. Read Zechariah 9:9. What is the message and purpose of his entry? How does it contrast with the rest of the week?3. In Mark 11:2 Jesus commands the disciples…

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Two Minute Warning

March 10, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 13:1-37. What is your overall reaction? What are the three things about this chapter that jump out at you?2. Mark is writing to a persecuted Church. Of all the biographical material about Jesus he could have written, why do you think he wrote chapter 13 as Gospel (i.e. good news) for people in dire straights?3. Re-read Mark 13:32-37. If even Jesus doesn't know when he is going to return, how is it possible for us to watch if we do not know the day or the hour?4. Read Acts 1:7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. Why is "not knowing&…

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Jesus: Knowledge, Experience, Assurance

March 3, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Please read Mark 12:18-27 and then Matthew 22:23-33 & Luke 20:27-38. What are the similarities and the differences in these three versions of the same event?2. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 with Genesis 38:8 provide the background for the ludicrous question of the Sadducees in Mark 12:23. They didn't believe in the resurrection, so why would they ask such a question?3. In verse 24, Jesus tells these learned men (they did know their Bible – for them, only the first five books of the Old Testament were THE Bible) that they do not know the…

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There IS Another Way

February 24, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 12:13-17. Now read the parallel passages in Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:20-26. What are the similarities? What are the differences?2. The Pharisees (the religiously-rigid, law-keepers) and the Herodians (Jews who maintained the Roman status quo) never associated with each other. Why is that? Why do they now come together to confront Jesus?(hint – read Mark 12:1-12)3. In verse 14, are they being genuine? Is it true what they say about Jesus? What is the difference between flattery and honest praise?4. Verse 17 is a well known…

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Futility, Weakness, Power

February 3, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Do you have enough money? How much is enough?2. Read Mark 10:17-31. Now read Matthew 19:16-30 and Luke 18:18-30. What are the similarities and what are the differences?3. If the rich young man was a good religious man, what was the impediment to following Jesus? Why the remedy? (verse 21).4. Read verse 27. If this man can’t make it (think of the most successful person in your world right now), then who can? Who has a chance? How would you define success based on this passage?5. Read verses 28-31. What is the disciple’s ROI? (Retu…

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