Oct 22-25 — Curtis Pope (THU-SUN)
Zealous for Good Works
The elders have chosen this theme for 2015. Their desire is to generate more enthusiasm, commitment, and participation in the work at Eastland in 2015.
The word "zeal" in the New Testament comes from a group of Greek words related to the idea of heat. The Greek word zeō meant "to be hot; to boil (as with liquids) or to glow (as with coals)." In the New Testament it is translated as "fervent." The word zēlos meant "zeal," and the word zēloō meant "zealous." Zeal, simply put, is to be on fire for the Lord and his work.
The text for this year's theme is Titus 2.14, which says that Christ "gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds." How does this text stoke the flames of our zeal? It describes…
His love for us — "who gave himself for us"
His work for us — "to redeem us from every lawless deed"
His purpose for us — "to purify for himself"
Our status before him — "a people for his own possession"
Our response to him — "zealous for good deeds"
"Our constant mission is to reach and teach the lost; to build up Christ’s body; and to assist needy saints."
This is based in part upon Ephesians 4.11-13, where the apostle Paul said, "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ."
We try to accomplish this mission by "equipping the saints" to fulfill their own personal obligations as Christians. We attempt to coordinate a number of important activities within the congregation to help each member reach his or her potential as a follower of Jesus, and to create an environment where the congregation can also reach its potential collectively.
This mission is constant and unchanging, because it comes to us from God. In our mission we do not strive for originality, novelty, convenience or popularity — we strive for faithfulness to God’s calling. We expect the members of this church to devote themselves to this lofty set of ambitions.