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Sermon Passages: 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2; Acts 17:10-12

You cannot sustain a body of churches without core values that unite you, values from the Word of God. All Scripture is breathed out by God and the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge and faith. When we lose our grip on the Bible, we lose our Christian character, our witness, and eventually every good work. We must be Bereans, examining all teaching in light of the Word, and never take for granted that we have easy access to a Bible we can read in our own languages.

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Sermon Passages: Acts 2:22-36

At the cross, though Jesus had no sin of his own, the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. Jesus suffered the penalty we each deserve. But then, the power of God raised him! And we celebrate the risen Christ, for there is no salvation without the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That salvation, "God's grace in Christ, received by faith, is the fountain from which everything good flows" (Dennis Johnson). Believe in Christ, and you will be saved.

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Sermon Passages: Acts 20:28-32

Pastors/elders are called, qualified men who are members of the church, tested and known, before they become elders. The congregation must know them to recommend them or speak to their character and maturity; likewise, the existing elders must know them to ascertain whether they are qualified and if they are called to meet the present need. Additionally, in every case in the New Testament where elders are appointed, apostolic men did the final appointing, and the consistent pattern is a plurality of elders. There is wisdom and safety in this New Testament design, wherein each man brings differing perspectives, gifting, abilities, and knowledge to bear in leading the church and caring for the flock they have been called to shepherd well.

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Sermon Passages: Acts 20:28

Pastors are called to be shepherds, overseers, and elders who protect and feed the flock of God, rule well the household of God, and guide its people. Of course no earthly pastor is perfect. Like all of us, they fall short; they make mistakes, and yet they are called by God to a significant responsibility over His flock. Heeding that call, they eagerly, joyfully, and diligently work to know their members, to listen, to assess and meet their members

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Sermon Passages: Acts 2:41-46

Scripture is full of commands to love one another; in fact, all of the law can be summed up in the word love. We are to love one another and even to love our enemies. God intends for our love not to be merely abstract or sentimental, but real. Three of the images that God uses to describe the church capture aspects of how we are to love one another. The church is God's family, meaning that we have a unity in the gospel that overcomes all of our differences. The church is the body of Christ, meaning that we all have different functions, some of which may be more prominent than others, but all of us are needed, and we all need one another. The church is the temple of God, meaning that we exist for a far greater purpose than ourselves. We must take care of one another; this is commanded, and it provides a witness to the world, but most importantly, we do this because we love one another and we belong to one another.