Back to Church Sunday 2019: Part 1 "The Church and the City"

Back To Church 2019

Back to Church Sunday 2019: Part 1 "The Church and the City"

Pastor Rollan Fisher

  • The City of God

  • The Church in the City

  • Coming to the Wellspring of Christ

The City of God

The church is where you find the grace of God in the city.

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. A Song.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush — “This one was born there,” they say. And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her. The Lord records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Selah Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.”

-Psalm 87:1-7

The Basis of Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

-Ephesians 2:8-10

“Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?... Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Disciplship

The Church in the City

The church is God’s vehicle through which He dispense grace to the city.

  • The mInistry of presence

  • Psalms 139 vs. temple

“Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent urban problems. To cities filled with the homeless and the impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachments. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violent ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fires, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services.”

-Rodney Stark

Article to Freshmen (and newcomers to a city, new season of life - applies to any time of transition).

To quit attending church in college would be like Noah jumping out of the ark, forsaking the chief means God was using to preserve him.

"You need the church because you need to hear God’s Word. You need the church because you need wise and godly mentors. You need the church because you need accountability for your profession of faith. You need the church because you need reminders that your identity rests in Christ crucified. By his death he purchased for you all the power, energy, and motivation you need to invest your life in a local church.”

-From the article:

Coming to the Wellspring of Christ

The church is full of grace because it is built on the wellspring of Christ.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

-John 6:35-40

“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Repent of sin today. Come to the cross of Christ where he, being sinless, paid the price for your forgiveness. He was crucified, but resurrected from the dead not only to give you the opportunity for new/eternal life, but has given you his church so that you might have the encouragement to stand in that new life. Be planted in Christ and his church/body today.

Second City Church - Back to Church Sunday 2019 - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019