PresbyterySite 0.0.9 released! PDF Print E-mail
News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 15:37

We are pleased to announce the release of PresbyterySite 0.0.9!  This is primarily a bugfix release.

One bugfix resulted in faster page loads--PresbyterySite's use of the Scriptaculous/Prototype JavaScript framework/library conflicted with RocketTheme's Versatility III template's use of the Mootools JavaScript framework/library, so PresbyterySite now uses Mootools for fading status messages in and out.  Mootools is compressed, so results in significantly faster page loads.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 15:39
Col. 4:7-18 - Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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News - Sermons
Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 12:22

Colossians 4:7-18 - “Christian Greetings”

Study Guide

Passage Outline - “What should I do when I greet fellow believers?”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 12:26
Col. 4:7-18 - Christian Greetings PDF Print E-mail
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News - Sermons
Written by Tim Black   
Saturday, 11 August 2007 20:09

Colossians 4:7-18
Christian Greetings”
Tim Black

  1. Introduction

    1. Colossians’ Body: Glorious! As we have studied it the book of Colossians has risen to the great heights of exalting Christ as the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, the one through whom and for whom all things were made, and the one who is the head of the body, the church, and it has drawn us to that height by exhorting us to set our minds and hearts on things above, where Christ is. With no less warmth and concern Colossians has descended to the most practical exhortations of how to put off the old man and put on the new man in our desires and attitudes, words and actions, and no less in our families and workplace. And in the preceding passage Paul exhorted us to take this salvation through Christ to the world.

    2. Colossians’ Conclusion: Mundane? In contrast to the glories of Christ, Christian character, Christian households and Christian witness revealed earlier in the book, Paul’s final words of newsy greetings appear to have descended to the utterly mundane. His greetings may have had some use for the Colossian church, but what use are they for us?

    3. Text’s Message: A key principle of the interpretation of scripture is that a passage’s meaning for you today can only be discovered when you recognize the meaning the original human author intended his original human audience to receive. So what is Paul’s message in this passage?

      1. Christian Greetings. Clearly Paul is conveying greetings, and greetings of a Christian nature. Paul uses the word “greet” four times in vv. 10-17. In vv. 7-9, Paul commends the messengers carrying the greetings. In vv. 10-17 he conveys the greetings, and in v. 18 he gives his final benediction. In this we have the outline of the passage.

        1. Outline

          • Messengers vv. 7-9

          • Greetings vv. 10-17

          • Benediction v. 18

      2. Reason for the greetings. But why does Paul send these greetings to the Colossians, and what should we learn from them? He mentions eleven individuals by name, and it is interesting for us to learn the biographical details which occasioned the particular concern Paul had for each one. But it is Paul’s message regarding each one which the Colossians needed to hear, and the general functions his greetings fulfilled still need to be fulfilled by our greetings in the church today. In Col. 4:2-6 Paul taught us how to conduct ourselves toward those outside the church, and now Paul teaches us how to conduct ourselves toward those inside the church. As a Christian community, the church must engage in Christian witness without, and Christian greetings within. Christian greetings foster the Christian connections within the broader Christian community which Paul calls the joints and ligaments of the body of Christ. If you desire your speech to always be gracious and seasoned with salt when you speak with unbelievers, remember you have excellent opportunity to practice within the body of Christ.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 August 2007 20:11
Col. 4:2-6 - Christian Witness PDF Print E-mail
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News - Sermons
Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:14

Colossians 4:2-6
Christian Witness”
Tim Black

  1. Introduction

    1. We have now come nearly to the end of the book of Colossians. What remains in the book is today’s passage, then a long section of greetings from Paul’s fellow workers, then Paul’s farewell in 4:18. What unites these final parts of the book is that they are addressed to the Christian community as a whole. They are not addressed to individuals in their respective roles as wives and husbands, children and fathers, or slaves and masters. And these final passages do not share the particular focus on putting off the old man and putting on the Christian character of the new man. Rather, now that you have been taught to put on Christian character, and how to live in Christian relationships, Paul teaches you how to live as a Christian community. The life of a local congregation is bigger than the local congregation. It reaches out to the unbelieving world, and participates in fellowship with Christians in other congregations. So Paul teaches us in 4:2-6 about maintaining our Christian witness, and in 4:7-18 Paul shows us how we ought to send Christian greetings. As a Christian community, we witness to the world, and we send greetings to Christians.

    2. In today’s passage, Paul teaches us to maintain our Christian witness to the world. He has already taught us much of what it means to be a Christian. In the immediately preceding verses he taught us how to live as Christians in our households, and so now is a perfect time to teach us to present Christianity to the world. Now that you have your house in order, it’s time to have an open house. Invite the neighbors in, and let them see what Christ is doing in your life. Take Christ, your Christian character, your Christian relationships in the Christian community, and pour these blessings out in your neighborhood.

    3. Paul gives you two ways to do this. First, pray for our witness, vv. 2-4. Second, witness! (vv. 5-6)

    4. Outline

      1. Pray for our witness vv. 2-4

      2. Witness! vv. 5-6

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:25
Col. 4:2-6 - Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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News - Sermons
Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:12

Colossians 4:2-6 - “Christian Witness”

Study Guide

Passage Outline

  1. Pray for our witness vv. 2-4

    1. Strengthen the foundations of your prayer life: continual, watchful, and thankful v. 2

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

    1. Pray for witness vv. 3-4

      1. That God will open a door for the gospel v. 3

3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison-

      1. That the gospel will be presented clearly v. 4

4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

  1. Witness! vv. 5-6

    1. Witness in your deeds v. 5

      1. Walk in wisdom toward those outside the church

5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders,

      1. Redeem the time: make the most of every opportunity

making the best use of the time.

    1. Witness in your words v. 6

      1. Let them be “with grace”

6 Let your speech always be gracious,

      1. Let them be “seasoned with salt”

seasoned with salt,

      1. Result: You’ll know how to answer each one

so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

For Discussion

  1. What are some important ways our congregation has contact with the surrounding community?

  2. How do Colossians’ teachings about the old and new man, Christian character, and Christian relationships relate to our contact with those outside the church?

  3. How specifically can you put into practice any of the three ways Paul gives you in v. 2 to strengthen your prayer life?

  4. Give 5 examples of a “door” for the gospel we should ask God to open.

  5. What misunderstandings do the unbelievers we know have of the gospel? How should we seek to make the gospel clear to them?

  6. What is your role? Should you both pray and witness, and witness in both word and deed, or do only one? Do one more than the other? Consider 1 Peter 3:1.

  7. How should wisdom and zeal work together in our witness? How can we use either wrongly? Consider Matthew 10:16; 1 Corinthians 9:22.

  8. What are some ways to “redeem the time” when we interact with unbelievers? Consider Col. 3!

  9. Give some examples of “gracious speech.

  10. What effects will “gracious” and “salt-seasoned” speech have? Consider Matthew 5:16; 10:19.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:15
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