These are the sermons from Sound City Bible Church in Washington.
How Long Will I Struggle With This Sin? | Hosea 8
Before the Messiah came, the people of God would often cry out “how long, o Lord?” when it came to the troubles in our lives and in the world. Now that Jesus has come, we can have hope when we cry out “how long will | struggle with this sin in my life?” even as we look forward to his second coming.
When you think about idolatry, does it sound strange to you? Why do you think that ancient people had gods/idols for literally everything? How does that connect to our modern lives?
Share openly with those in your community: what idols are you the most prone to give a place in your heart? Why do those particular idols “grab” you (personality, childhood wounds, fears, etc.)?
How is the gospel of Jesus our only true hope when it comes to removing idols from our hearts and making genuine progress? Why does “more law” not work?
As the world celebrates Christmas, how can our commitment to Jesus be a witness to a world that is ensnared by many idols?
Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would help you focus on Jesus and smash your idols.
Pray for grace for yourself and others when the progress isn’t as fast as you would like.
Pray that your witness for Jesus would grow as you put sin to death in your life.
God's Newly United Family | Acts 11:1-30
As modern, western readers of the Bible, it is easy for us to misunderstand the conflict that is happening in Acts 11. But the more that we know about the context of this conflict, the more we know that God’s laws are not arbitrary or legalistic. Rather, God calls his people to be distinct from the world in order to be a blessing to the world.
Which ditch are you personally more prone toward: not distinct enough from the world, or too distinct and distant from the world? How can we help one another live in the tension of John 17:15-18.
In Acts 11, we see a handful of specific blessings that come when God's people are distinct from the world: repentance, ethnic reconciliation, Christlikeness, and financial aid. In your group, talk about the myriad of other ways that we can be a blessing to the world when we are willing to be distinct and different from the world?
How was Jesus distinct from the world? How Is that holiness/separation/distinction an indispensable part of the good news? And, how did that distinction enable him to be a blessing to the world?
What specific gifts, talents, or abilities has God given to you personally that he wants you to use to bring the good news of Jesus into the world?
Pray that we—as individuals and as a church—would live in that tension of being different from the world while still being a blessing to the world.
Pray that we would follow the Spirit on mission to the world with both our words and our deeds. Pray for Jesus to save people and bring them into his newly united family.
Sunday Gathering Update
Pastor Aaron shares some updates from the elder team regarding corporate worship this Sunday and beyond.
Peter Meets Gentiles | Acts 9:32-10:48
In Acts 1, Jesus promised his disciples that the good news would move beyond the region of Judea to “the ends of the earth.” And here in Acts 10, it finally happens: the nations are being welcomed into the family of God! In this passage, we see Peter (a Jew) and Cornelius (a Gentile) being willing to obey God, even when they don’t fully understand all of the details.
The Power of a True Conversion | Acts 9:1-31
The beginning of Acts chapter 9 tells of one of the most significant conversions in the history of the church, and even the history of the world. Saul of Tarsus had been on a mission to capture and persecute followers of Jesus until his radical encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Saul’s conversion to “the way” demonstrates the power of God. But it also reminds us that every conversion, no matter how big or dramatic, is a miraculous act of God.
Take some time to share with one another how Jesus has transformed your life. Even if you met Jesus at an early age, how would your life be different had you not encountered Jesus?
Do you have questions or doubts about your status with Jesus? Are you struggling to believe that you’re “good enough” to be saved?
Do you desire to continue to be changed and transformed by the power of the gospel each and every day? Do you regularly share areas in your life where you are struggling and living in sin? Share with one another how you desire to continue to grow as a disciple of Jesus and be transformed by the Holy Spirit?
How can we hold each other accountable and help each other be obedient to Christ, including going out into the world and speaking boldly about Jesus?
Pray that Jesus would remind you of the miracle he has done in your own life. Pray that he would reignite a passion and excitement for how he has and continues to transform you.
Pray for God to encourage you and cause you to be more passionate in proclaiming the gospel to the world around you. Pray for courage to speak boldly about Jesus to those in your life who have yet to meet Jesus. And pray, not just for opportunities to share the gospel but for the power of the gospel to lead to true life transformation.
The Gospel Goes to Samaria | Acts 8:1-40
The spread of the gospel has followed the pattern that was promised by Jesus in Acts 1: first Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then to the ends of the earth. As we see the gospel go to Samaria in ch. 8, we see God working in the middle of some messy situations with some messy people. But we can also see that God is not afraid to meet his people in the middle of the mess. The Holy Spirit does his best work when we are honest about the mess that we are in.
Who has God put in your life that you can be 100% real, gut-level honest about the “mess” in your own life? Are there things that you have been holding on to that need to be shared? What fears in your own heart keep you from being fully honest?
In our honesty, we don’t want to wallow in sin or celebrate our mess, but bring it to Jesus. How does the “messiness” of the cross give us hope that Jesus could really forgive us, love us, and transform us?
How could God use our honesty and transparency to further the spread of the gospel to those who have not yet believed in Jesus?
Pray that God would shape us to be the kind of church community that openly shares our sins, fears, struggles, and messes with each other so that we can experience the redeeming grace of Christ.
Pray for that we would be open, humble, and loving in such a way that draws unbelievers to come to know Jesus and believe the gospel.