And God said, (Genesis 1:3)Light pierces darkness on the wings of words. Stars, planets, moons, nebula, blueberry bushes, cacti, coral, mountains, rivers, puppies, blue whales, leopards, ostriches, and flamingos arrive with words. Your fingers, your mouse, your phone, your kids, and your shoes are held together with words. Words revive, sanctify and preserve once-dead souls. Luther once proclaimed he had "driven the devil away with ink" because the right words are offensive weapons against the Great Accuser. In the end, a sword from the mouth of the final conquering King will strike down every opposition government.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1–3)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, (Romans 1:16)
take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17)
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11–16)
(all emphases added)
Words matter to God. His power is manifested in syllables. Nothing changes, nothing improves, nothing finds life, indeed nothing exists, apart from His word. And so one of our great collective sins is the cheapening of words. Our unclean lips have perverted words to deceive, flatter, entertain and distract. How many words did you take in today? Chances are you are fatigued under the dead weight of rotting, meaningless words. Words that bring life are the need of the hour.
This year in Summitview's Leadership Training Class we will be considering how God rescues and transforms us as the Holy Spirit delivers words to our hearts, specifically the words of the Gospel.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)Nothing is more practical or powerful than knowing the Gospel. It is the power of salvation for eternity and for today. Please consider attending these sessions or listening to each one as they are posted here along with any supplemental reading.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3:21–24)
In our first two sessions, we established the groundwork for the year by answering two fundamental questions:
Session 1 - What Is the Gospel? (Romans 3:21-27)
Session 2 - How Is the Gospel An Agent To Change? (Titus 2:11-14) - Notes
The remaining sessions build on this groundwork into more specific application (all take place from 7-8:45pm in the Summitview Auditorium).
Session 3 (November 9th) - Discovering Roadblocks to the Gospel: Asking and Listening Rightly for "The Sentence" (Hebrews 3:12-4:2)
Session 4 (December 7th) - The Role of Prayer and the Holy Spirit in Change (John 16:4-15)
Session 5 (January 11th) - How Gospel-Change Addresses Sin (Romans 8:13)
Session 6 (February 8th) - How Gospel-Change Works with Depression (Phil. 4:4-9)
Session 7 (March 8th) - How Gospel-Change Works in Family Issues (Eph. 5:22-33 and 6:1-4)
Session 8 (April 5th) - The Role of the Church in Sanctification of the Believer (Hebrews 10:19-24)
Session (May 3rd) - Set the Captives Free: How the Changing/Freeing Power of the Gospel Affects Our Evangelism (Titus 3:1-8)
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9–10)Together, let's journey toward that day.