Oct 10, 2021
Matthew 3:13-4:1 “The Trinity”
Series: Apologetics
Thoughts for Reflection: The whole first unit in our study on Apologetics could be summed up with the word “foundation”.  We have spent the last three weeks and will spend the next 5-6 weeks establishing the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith as they are laid out in Scripture.  One of the most foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, as well as one of the most mysterious, is that of the Trinitarian nature of God. While you won’t find the word “Trinity” anywhere in the Bible, it is very clear that the Bible reveals God as existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  All three are present and active in Creation, the psalmist attests to each one at different times, and we are called to go out (and baptize) in the name of all Three.  Yet, Scripture is also clear that there is only ONE God, who was and is and is to come.  We, as humans, both speak this as the Truth that God reveals about Himself in Scripture and also hold in tension that it is impossible to fully comprehend. Questions to take home:
  1. What are some ways that you have tried to describe or explain the Trinity?  How have they been helpful to you?  In what ways do they fall short of the mystery?
  2. What is one thing that you find to be the most awe-inspiring about God’sTrinitarian existence?  What is the most confusing?  Which Scripture passages have you found to be most helpful?
  3. Take a few minutes to read the Athanasian Creed on the inside of this handout.  How does this Creed help you to better understand the Trinity?  How does this understanding affect your view of God?
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  • Oct 10, 2021Matthew 3:13-4:1 “The Trinity”
    Oct 10, 2021
    Matthew 3:13-4:1 “The Trinity”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: The whole first unit in our study on Apologetics could be summed up with the word “foundation”.  We have spent the last three weeks and will spend the next 5-6 weeks establishing the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith as they are laid out in Scripture.  One of the most foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, as well as one of the most mysterious, is that of the Trinitarian nature of God. While you won’t find the word “Trinity” anywhere in the Bible, it is very clear that the Bible reveals God as existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  All three are present and active in Creation, the psalmist attests to each one at different times, and we are called to go out (and baptize) in the name of all Three.  Yet, Scripture is also clear that there is only ONE God, who was and is and is to come.  We, as humans, both speak this as the Truth that God reveals about Himself in Scripture and also hold in tension that it is impossible to fully comprehend. Questions to take home:
    1. What are some ways that you have tried to describe or explain the Trinity?  How have they been helpful to you?  In what ways do they fall short of the mystery?
    2. What is one thing that you find to be the most awe-inspiring about God’sTrinitarian existence?  What is the most confusing?  Which Scripture passages have you found to be most helpful?
    3. Take a few minutes to read the Athanasian Creed on the inside of this handout.  How does this Creed help you to better understand the Trinity?  How does this understanding affect your view of God?
  • Oct 3, 2021Genesis 1:1–2; John 1:1-5; Romans 1:18–23 “We Can Know God Exists”
    Oct 3, 2021
    Genesis 1:1–2; John 1:1-5; Romans 1:18–23 “We Can Know God Exists”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: One of the greatest questions that Atheists pose to believers is that of proof of God’s existence.  Because God is spirit, and therefore invisible, and because you cannot quantify Him in any scientific way, many hold that He simply does not exist.  Science, they say, has proven how and approximately when the universe began and how it exists today.  Everything that exists, they say, finds its beginning in the Big Bang and is the natural result of several billion years of a random evolutionary process that brought us to this point. While science may be able to explain, in varying degrees of specific language, the nature of the first seconds of the universe, it has yet to (and will not be able to) explain the root cause of the beginning of the universe.  What science has shown, however, is that there definitely was a beginning; the universe itself is not eternal.  In keeping with its own laws of physics, then, we (and they) know that there is a cause behind the beginning.  Nothing simply cannot appear from nothing.  Scripture, however, is very clear on this point: “In the beginning, God…” Questions to take home:
    1. Last week, Pastor Jim spoke about the attributes of God.  Which ones on the list he gave us really apply to the conversation about the existence of God?  How do they play a role in what you believe about who God is?
    2. What have you heard or been taught about the beginning of the universe?  What would you save are the theological implications (impacts on what you believe) of this teaching?  How do or don’t they fit in with what Scripture teaches about God?
    3. Part of apologetics is offering reasonable and well-thought-out answers to why you believe what you believe.  How would you respond to someone who says, “I don’t know how anyone could believe in God, there is no proof that God exists”?
  • Sep 26, 2021Exodus 20:1-6, 34:4-8, 14 “The Attributes of God”
    Sep 26, 2021
    Exodus 20:1-6, 34:4-8, 14 “The Attributes of God”
    Series: Apologetics
    Pastor Jim Harrison Preaching
     
    Bulletin Insert: https://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/20210926061718846.pdf
  • Sep 19, 2021Psalm 19:7-14 “God’s Word is Our Foundation”
    Sep 19, 2021
    Psalm 19:7-14 “God’s Word is Our Foundation”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: In starting something new, it is always good to begin at the beginning.  Rarely does anyone pick up a book and start reading random pages halfway through the book.  In the same way, a builder does not construct the walls of the house before the foundation is set and secured.  Students do not finish their capstone college courses until they have completed all the rest of the necessary coursework.  For everything, there is a beginning, a starting line, a foundation.  For Christ-followers, our Foundation is the Word of God. In an age of relative truth, we begin a new season of discipleship, planting our proverbial flag on the foundation that is the Word of God.  One of the key values that drive our Mission and Vision at Hopkins Community Church is that of Absolute Truth: We affirm the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of the Gospel, and the absolute truth of scripture.  Amidst the storm of relativism, Scripture is our anchor, our foundation, or shelter. Questions to take home:
    1. What are the ways that God’s Word is identified in Psalm 19?  Can you think of other ways that Scripture talks about itself in the Bible?  How do these Truths transform your view of Scripture and its place in your life?
    2. Pastor Jon talked about “Worldview” during the sermon.  How would you describe “worldview” to someone?  With that in mind, what is your worldview?  What is the source of your worldview?
    3. What is one of the most pressing problems in society today?  Take some time to search through Scripture (use the Bible, an index, google, etc.).  What does it say about this?  How can you apply these Truths to your life?
  • Sep 12, 20211 Peter 3:8-22 “Ready to Give an Answer?”
    Sep 12, 2021
    1 Peter 3:8-22 “Ready to Give an Answer?”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: Today is the beginning of a new season of ministry and discipleship for Hopkins Community Church.  We are restarting our Discipleship Hour (Sunday School) after a year and a half hiatus.  Youth Groups, GEMS, Cadets, Rubies, and Small Groups will all begin in the next week as well.  Today also marks the beginning of a new focus specific to training, discipling, and equipping Hopkins Community Church to speak about, answer questions of, and defend their Faith in the world today. In a world that seems out of control, many people have questions and are searching for hope.  Scripture tells us to “always be ready to give and answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.”  The Greek word used here is Apologia which means “to give a defense.”  Today begins a journey that will equip us and prepare us to give a defense for our faith and answer some of the most difficult and important questions the people have for the followers of Christ. Questions to take home:
    1. Read 1 Peter 3:8-9.  How does this passage speak into the current climate of interaction, arguing, and social media posting in our culture today?  In what ways have you participated in this?  Repent of those things and ask God to reveal new ways of interacting that are glorifying to Him.
    2. Has anyone ever asked you a question about your faith that you don’t have an answer to?  Do you have questions about your faith that you don’t have an answer to?  What are those questions?  Write them down and turn them into the collection box next week.
    3. Read 1 Peter 3:13-16.   These verses are crucial for understanding how apologetics should be carried out.  Can you find the 5 ways that Peter mentions here?  Which of these ways are you comfortable with?  Which ones are opportunities for growth?
  • Sep 5, 2021Matthew 7:13-29; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “Two Ways”
    Sep 5, 2021
    Matthew 7:13-29; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “Two Ways”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: Matthew 5 through 7 is known as the “Sermon on the Mount.”  As Jesus begins His ministry, He is articulating His interpretation of Old Testament law and showing people the purpose for it in the lives of God’s people.  His teaching is set up over and against the teaching and rules of the day that the religious leaders had set up for the people to follow.  These human rules were about religious practice, about the activities of a person rather than the heart of the Law which was actually about people’s heart. The world around us offers a lot of pathways to “happiness and fulfillment.”  Whether they are a litany of religious practices or the “love is love is love” mentality, they are part of the broad road that is lined with signs suggesting that this is the way toward satisfaction and ultimate joy… even salvation.  Jesus, however, begins and ends His early ministry with one refrain: “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Questions to take home:
    1. The world is always offering us alternative “roads” to happiness, fulfillment, and ‘salvation’.  What are the things, activities, or elements of your life that the enemy is using to lure you away from following Christ first in your life?
    2. Jesus continues His teaching by contrasting two types of things: prophets, disciples, and foundations.  The ultimate question He is getting at is “which one are you”?  How do we ensure that we are not heading down the “broad road” of worldly teaching?
    3. How do we apply these same teachings to a church level?  A denominational level?  How do we apply Christ’s teachings in Matthew and other places to the organizations we find ourselves in?
  • Apr 4, 2021Luke 24:1-11; John 20:3-10 “Why Jesus’ Resurrection is Important”
    Apr 4, 2021
    Luke 24:1-11; John 20:3-10 “Why Jesus’ Resurrection is Important”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: Jesus-followers talk at length about the death of Jesus.  For many of us, we believe Jesus’ death is the main event of Holy Week.  We say, and rightly so, that He died for our sins; through His blood we are washed clean.  When we think about what God accomplished for us, we think of the cross.  Truly no amount of words or sermons can ever exhaust the magnitude of Jesus’ death. The great celebration of the Christian faith, however, does not revolve around the cross but instead comes three days later on what we know as Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.  Naturally, then, the question arises: “Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important?”  God’s answer, as we’ll hear this morning, is that the Resurrection of Jesus literally affirms and confirms everything about WHO Jesus is, WHAT He did, His victory  over death, gives us reason to BELIEVE and offers us the ASSURANCE of the HOPE of SALVATION now and forevermore. Questions to take home:
    1. When you think about the Gospel and the forgiveness of sins, do you find yourself drawn more toward the cross and the events of Jesus’ death or the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection?  Why do you think that is?
    2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-28.  What are some of the major impacts of the Resurrection that Paul lists here?  Can you think of others that he doesn’t mention here?  Which of these great things do you find most resonates with you and why?
    3. How will you take the joy and hope of the Good News of Jesus' death AND resurrection with you into this next week?  What will it change for you and who will you tell that Jesus is alive?