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A community of TRUTH.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work – which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm (1:3-6).
Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: ‘He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations,was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory (3:14-16).
If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed (4:6).
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress (4:13-15).
A community of GRACE.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen (1:12-17).
A community of OUTREACH.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I am telling the truth, I am not lying – and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles (2:3-7).
A community PRAYER.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior… Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing (2:1-3,8).
A community of RELATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
I really want to see the men engaged in the life of the church, not falling into the pattern of “the silence of Adam,” male passivity. For example, men everywhere should be involved in the prayer-life of the church. Men should be bowing before God with holy hearts, instead of disagreeing and arguing with one another. Men, you can disagree without being disagreeable and this is a prerequisite for effective prayer. So, get praying and don’t leave the praying to the women.
Women, you have some key responsibilities. Modesty and self-restraint please God and benefit the community. You can put Jesus on display, by not accentuating your outer appearance and drawing attention to yourselves (this will distract people). Instead, you can put Jesus on display through your godly character and by doing good to others.
As for the teaching time, it needs to be orderly and structured, not noisy and chaotic (especially in those homes where you gather). The women should listen and learn with a composed and receptive spirit (as should the men). I do not want the women to overtake the men and always assume the roles of teaching and leading the church. (By the way, you will notice in my use of the Greek tenses that I am emphasizing something important here. I’m talking about women permanently taking on the teaching and leading roles in the church. As you well know from my own work with many female coworkers, I have no issue with godly women giving godly instruction. I certainly learn much from my female coworkers. I just don’t want women lording it over men.) Back to my point: Women should encourage the men to fulfill their God-given responsibility to lead, protect and pray in the church and home. This will require restraint on the part of women because it is your natural tendency to lead in these areas.
Finally, as a reminder, all of this order in the church relates to the order God established at creation. Adam was created first and he was given responsibility to lead and protect his wife. But what happened we all know – the serpent targeted Eve and deceived her. Thus, she gave in to temptation. Nevertheless, the woman’s significant role will be forever preserved (saved) in the church and in the world in that she was the one (not the man) who brought the birth of THE child, THE Christ into the world . . . and she is the one (not the man) who continues to bring children into the world . . . and she has the unique responsibility, through her faith and godly character, to shape the hearts and minds of the next generation. This is why she must be careful to pursue her own set of “character qualifications” – faith, love, holiness and right thinking.
Changes to Online Giving & Text-to-Give
If you use Oak Pointe’s online giving system to make donations, please note the following changes:
- When making a one-time gift, please choose “Oak Pointe Church Novi” from the dropdown menu.
- If you use text-to-give, going forward text your dollar amount followed by the word “novi” – e.g. “20 novi” to give $20 to the Novi general fund.
- If you have recurring giving set up for Oak Pointe Novi, you’re all set.
Save a Seat
When you fill out the Save a Seat form, it lets us know you’re here and who is with you, helps us balance attendance over multiple services, and makes sure we can do any contact tracing if needed.
The Eight is a walk through our church’s eight core values with a study guide developed by Pastor Bob Shirock. You’ll spend eight weeks going a bit deeper into what we believe and what we aspire to become here at Oak Pointe. Register here.
Financial Peace University
Financial Peace University (FPU) kicks off Monday, February 1. This new Life Study is happening in an online format. If your spiritual and emotional health are in order, but your financial health needs help, 2021 is your year, and FPU is the study to put your finances on the road to recovery. Register.
Next Sunday, January 31, is our Church’s annual Ezra 8 day where we mark our church’s birthday, gather to celebrate what God has done in the past year, and seek his blessing on the year ahead. This year Ezra 8 will be held at a new time – 5-7 pm. Also new this year, Ezra 8 will be both in-person and streamed live online. If you’re joining us in person, we’d ask you to save a seat.
One way to stay in touch with the Cody Partnership and everything happening in the Cody schools and community is to receive the Cody Comments newsletter. In the past you picked it up monthly in your paper bulletin, but now it gets delivered monthly to your inbox if you subscribe.