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Losing Face and Finding Grace

Blog

Thoughts on faith and life at Friendship Church

Losing Face and Finding Grace

Dennis Brown

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This week Rick Chamness will give the message from Ephesians 6 on how Jesus redefines all our relationships. Next week I will begin a series on spiritual warfare titled "Everyday Battle" from the classic section in Ephesians 6:10-20.

Sometimes when people think of spiritual warfare they think of "fangs in the back" (i.e. dramatic encounters with the devil), but the Bible more frequently speak of "the lies in the heart." We want to make this as practical as possible. Ephesians sets forth the great truths of the Christian faith--who God is, how we were loved from before the world began, and all the the resources available to us to live godly lives in our homes and workplace. But it isn't enough to be able to pass the test and have correct answers. You need to be able to put the truth on everyday. More, you need to be able to put Jesus on if you are going to stand during the everyday battles that we face.

Along with the message series, we are offering a 12 week Bible study called "Losing Face and Finding Grace" which takes up the specific lies of the enemy which have tripped up all of us at one time or another. The class will be taught by David Ludwig at 9:30 am on Sunday in room 402. As soon as we get enough sign-ups we will announce the beginning of the class in November. The class is for everyone, but it particularly addresses the issues that Asian-Americans, or third culture Asians face. When I say "third culture", I mean Asians who have lived both in the East and West which describes most of you.

Here are some of the topics that will be addressed:

  1. Low self-image. How can you believe that God values you so much when you don't value yourself? How do you put on the truths of Ephesians 1 and 2 so that you are both confident and humble in Christ?
  2. Distorted images of God. Having experienced parental love that often seems to come "with strings attached" ("get good grades, perform well on the job and we will reward you"), how can you put on the armor of Ephesians 2 that says we were loved not because of what we did, but in spite of what we did in the person of Christ?
  3. Drivenness and emphasis on security. So many in our congregation have had parents and grandparents who worked so hard to provide financial security for their families--even to the point of exhaustion. We ought to be grateful for their sacrifices. But, how can we put on the truth that our ultimate security--now and forever--comes from our relationship with our heavenly Father? How can we be saved from trying to be our own God manically trying to create our own security?
  4. Being unreal. Why is it so difficult for all of us to be vulnerable and to open up emotionally? How does putting on the Gospel in Ephesians lead to true inner healing and the ability to be more open about our weaknesses and sins?

I hope you see how relevant these themes are. The class will both explore these themes from a Biblical text and seek to apply them in practical ways. Part of it will include learning from one another as you talk about these issues with others and how the Gospel can set you free. What we need you to do is to sign-up today or on Sunday. You can simply respond to this e-mail letting us know you will be coming, or stop at the welcome table on Sunday after church. As soon as we have a good class, we will announce the start date. In the meantime, be asking, how can I "put on the full armor of God so that I can stand?"