June 3/4 Hospitality Weekend – No Gathering

This weekend is our monthly Hospitality weekend. We are a church on mission, and so we intentionally schedule time for our folks to spend time w/ neighbors and friends – doing what they’re doing, inviting them over, and/or serving w/ them. May you be blessed as you reach out this weekend.

Our next gathering will be worship on June 11 at the Walters’.

Discouragement & 2 Peter 2

Discouragement is something we all can slip into, regardless of the situation. As believers, we trust in the hope and promises of Jesus. We sing and pray and live according to our faith of Christ, but as we look around, we are confronted w/ loss, broken relationships, health challenges, and a scary culture. We carry the promises of Jesus in our hearts, while we hold the brokenness of the world in our hands. And if we are honest w/ ourselves, its discouraging at times. If the good news is so good, then why are things such a mess? I would venture to say the readers of 2 Peter were a lot like us.

2 Peter is a letter written about 60 AD to a group of believers. This is likely the same group as addressed in 1 Peter. The problem facing the readers in 1 Peter was persecution. In 2 Peter, however, the author is confronting heresy. One suggestion of the heresy combated in this letter was an early form of Gnosticism. Gnostics denied humanity of Jesus, His bodily resurrection, and His future coming. They saw the physical realm as purely evil, and therefore concluded that God would never take physical form. And so many of them believed that bodily sins did not matter.

So w/ this context in mind, you can begin to see that this letter was designed to warn its readers against false teachers in the church who were blending an early form of Gnosticism w/ Christian thought. The author therefore emphasized the true knowledge of Christ, and desired the readers to focus and remember the true teachings of their prophets and Savior, while they looked forward to the Lords return.

Read 2 Peter 2, and see if your notice these themes.

As Peter discusses the realities of Christ followers surrounded by false teachings and brokenness, he says this in 2 Peter 2:9, “… the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…” In the face of brokenness and discouragement, this phrase would have been encouraging. They held and professed the truth of the faith. They leaned on the promises of Jesus. And yet, teachers came into their midst that said that the convictions they held were not true – that Jesus did not come in flesh, that his sacrifice was not real, and that the hope of His return was ill placed. If these believers were like us, they would have looked at this teaching in light of the brokenness of the world and been discouraged. In light of that, these readers would have been encouraged to remember how God is a God of justice, and corrects falsehood. They would have been encouraged to have this falsehood named and identified clearly. It would have been good news to know again that God rescues His people even in the midst of falsehood.

This good news is our good news too, that God is faithful to preserve His people, even when they are surrounded by brokenness and falsehood. The truth is that we get discouraged. We look around us and wonder how the promises of faith affect our lives in a broken world? We ask: If the good news is so good, then why is everything a mess? We are ultimately asking why God is not visible, and brokenness is obvious.

In light of the text, we ask: How do the promises of faith affect our lives in a broken world? The answer is confidence. Knowing we are identified w/ JC, we can live confidently, even though we are surrounded by a mess. We can speak the truth in love w/ neighbors who disagree. We can look at crummy season square in the face and declare boldly that we are not defined by brokenness of grief and loss and change and discouragement, but defined by our faithful savior who will make things right.

My prayer for you is that God would reveal His presence in the midst of discouragement, that He would give you peace in the midst of uncertainty, and that He would give you confident eyes of hope that look past the brokenness and falsehood of the world, and focus on the goodness and strength of our sovereign God.

Table Worship at the Walters’, Sunday, May 28 at 4:30pm

Join The Table this Sunday for a worship gathering at the Walters’ (2716 Douglas Ave.). We’ll gather at 4:30pm for a shared meal. We will continue our Easter season study on the Resurrection and what that means for us today. If Jesus said He came not just to give life, but abundant life, what does that abundance mean? We’ll be looking at 2 Peter 2, if you want to read ahead.

Invite a friend; everyone is welcome!

Heads Up – Jude is Coming

Let’s study how to study, by studying. Sometimes approaching the scriptures can create a feeling of disconnection. 2,000 years or more separate us from the original audiences of the Bible, and so we must consider how we might approach the text. This is what we would like to do together. Starting on Monday, June 5th at 6pm at the Walters (2716 Douglas Ave.), we will gather together and study how we study scripture by looking at the often forgotten New Testament book of Jude. This study will run for only 3 weeks (June 5, 12, & 19). No homework is required, just show up w/ a Bible. Week 1 will cover historical context and general impressions of Jude. Week 2 will focus on the theological themes of the letter. And, week 3 will center on the implications of Jude for us today. Let Aaron know if you are interested (thetablebellingham@gmail.com), and invite a friend – everyone is welcome!

Table Blessing, Saturday, May 28 10am

This coming Saturday is our May Blessing event. We will meet at 10am in the Happy Valley Elementary Parking lot (1040 24th St). We’ll join any neighbors who show up and head out and pick up trash for a couple hours. This is a cool annual Blessing that allows us to bless the hood w/ neighbors. Hope you can make it.
Out next worship gathering will be May 28, at the Walters.

Identity and 2 Peter 1

2 Peter Stats

Background: The readers of this letter were believers (1:1) and apparently the same group as addressed in 1 Peter (2 Pet. 3:1). The problem facing the readers in 1 Peter was persecution. The problem facing the readers of 2 Peter was false teaching (2:1, 21).[1]

Opponents: One suggestion of the heresy combated in this letter was a proto-Gnosticism; “knowledge” (a favorite emphasis of the Gnostics, though hardly limited to them) is mentioned seven times in the letter. Gnostics denied the future coming of Christ, and many of them believed that bodily sins did not matter. It is likely that the opponents are simply Diaspora Jews almost completely overtaken by Greek thought.[2]

Purpose: This letter from Peter was designed to warn its readers against false teachers in the church (2:1–2; 3:17). In contrast with the opponents’ claims to knowledge, Peter emphasized the true knowledge of Christ (1:2, 3, 8; 2:20; 3:18). Peter intended for the letter to stir the readers to remembrance of the true teachings of their prophets and Savior (3:1–2) and encourage growth in knowledge of the Lord Jesus (3:18),[3] as they look forward to the Lord’s return.[4]

Themes: Holiness, Orthodoxy Christ’s return

 

2 Peter 1

Series question: How do resurrection promises affect our lives in a broken world, in light of 2 Peter 1?

Read 2 Peter 1, What is good news in this chapter?

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your callingand election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 

Today

Good news: We share in Jesus’ divine nature (2 Pe 1:3,4)

“Believers will not participate in God’s essence, but His holiness, including His glory and virtue, 2 Pe 1:3. Sanctification is the imparting to us of God Himself by the Holy Spirit in the soul. The divine power enables us to be partakers of the divine nature.”[5]

 

Questions of Meditation:

-How will you adjust your consumption this week to help yourself live into your identity in Jesus? What will you feast on? What will you fast from?

-How will you live into John 10:10?

 

[1] Hughes, R. B., & Laney, J. C. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary (p. 695). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (2 Pe). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[3] Hughes, R. B., & Laney, J. C. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary (p. 695). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[4] Gangel, K. O. (1985). 2 Peter. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 862). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 517). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Table Worship at the Walters’, Sunday, May 14 at 4:30pm

Join The Table this Sunday for a worship gathering at the Walters’ (2716 Douglas Ave., Bellingham). We’ll gather at 4:30pm for a shared meal. We will continue our Easter season study on the Resurrection and what that means for us today. This week we will be in 2 Peter 1, if you want to read ahead. We’ll think together: If Jesus said He came not just to give life, but abundant life, what does that abundance mean?

Invite a friend; everyone is welcome!

Culture of Hospitality

This past weekend was our Hospitality weekend, where we intentionally pursue our neighbors and friends, in place of a communal gathering. The heart behind these weekends it to “make room” for others, allowing ourselves time and intention to make this happen. It has been at the heart of our church since its inception. Below is a passage from our website, written in the 1st season of The Table. You can feel the heart behind this rhythm of Hospitality. May you live it well this season!

“The Table has been set, candles and good music have set the mood, and the aroma of delectable food is noticeable. Tired, isolated, and hungry folks are arriving, having accepted the invitation. Their glasses are filled as they sit down with a sigh of relief. Together we will feast on our laughter and care, on great food and drink, and on the Lord’s presence. This table symbolizes the Kingdom of God, and is the vision God has given us for our faith community. But, it is also a reality of how Christ is now moving in Bellingham.”

April 6/7 Hospitality Weekend – No Gathering

This weekend is our monthly Hospitality weekend. We are a church on mission, and so we intentionally schedule time for our folks to spend time w/ neighbors and friends – doing what they’re doing, inviting them over, and/or serving w/ them. May you be blessed as you reach out this weekend.

Our next gathering will be worship on May 14 at the Walters’.

Table Prayer Gathering, Sunday, April 30 at 4:30pm

Join us this Sunday at 4:30pm for a Table prayer gathering (contact us for locations details). We will begin with a shared meal, so bring something yummy to share. We will then spend some time praying for our church, world, and each other. Let us know how we can be in prayer for you, and join us!

Next week is our Hospitality week, and our next worship gathering will be May 14th.

Page 2 of64«12345»102030...Last »