The Church: Identity, Mission, & Cultivation

The below is a Gospel Life Course taught during May 2018 at CrossWay Community Church.

Week 1 — Introduction, Identity, & Mission
May 6th, 2018

Week 2 — Cultivation, pt. 1
May 13th, 2018

Week 3 — Cultivation, pt. 2
May 20th, 2018

Week 4 — Cultivation, pt. 3
May 27th, 2018

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Stepping Up to the Plate: Every Member a Disciple-Making Disciple (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Stepping Up to the Plate: Every Member a Disciple-Making Disciple (Ephesians 4:7-16)
South City Church
August 27, 2017

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This sermon is a part of a series on the foundational principles of South City Church’s philosophy of ministry. See all sermons from this series.

John Stott on Comfortable Christianity

The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers [Luke 14:25-30] — the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so-called ‘nominal Christianity.’ In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience.

~ John Stott (Basic Christianity)


If our Christianity does not make us uncomfortable, if it does not disrupt or disturb us, if it leaves us where we are, then I’m afraid our Christianity is not Christ’s Christianity. We’ve fashioned a Jesus after our own image. And any Jesus, other than the Biblical Jesus, is not the saving Jesus.

“Take up your cross,” he said, i.e., “Following me means dying to yourself.”

Conflict Between Jesus and the Disciples in Mark

The following is a paper submitted to Dr. Joshua W. Jipp in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course NT 6211, Synoptic Gospels and Johannine Literature, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, October, 2014.


Conflict between Jesus and the disciples is a prevalent theme in Mark’s gospel. But why does Mark repeatedly highlight this conflict? What is its significance? What purpose does it serve in Mark’s message and presentation of Jesus? This paper will seek to answer these questions by tracing the theme of conflict through three narrative sections, noting its development and rhetorical significance at each stage.

Galilean Ministry (1:14-8:21)

A lack of understanding among the disciples characterizes the conflict between Jesus and the disciples during Jesus’ Galilean ministry. At their first appearance, the disciples are committed and eager to follow Jesus. Upon being called by Jesus, they abruptly leave their current situation and follow him (1:17-20; 2:14).[1] Accompanying Jesus on his ministry tour, they are exposed to Jesus as a miracle worker and teacher. They even serve as an extension of his ministry (6:12-13; cf. 3:15).

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The Significance of Jesus’ Death in Luke’s Gospel

The following is a paper submitted to Dr. Joshua W. Jipp in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course NT 6211, Synoptic Gospels and Johannine Literature, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, October, 2014.


This paper seeks to investigate the significance, purpose, and/or meaning of Jesus’ death in the gospel of Luke. It will do so by examining Jesus’ death according to six topics: (1) Jesus’ death as the culmination of a theme of opposition to Jesus, (2) Jesus’ death as the fulfillment of God’s will and plan, (3) Jesus’ death as a pattern of discipleship, (4) Jesus’ death in the context of satanic conflict, (5) Jesus’ death in terms the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, and (6) Jesus’ death as explained in the Last Supper.

Culmination of a Theme of Opposition to Jesus

Conflict between Jesus and others, especially the leaders of the Jewish religious institution, is a significant theme in Luke’s gospel. From the opening chapters, Luke presents the infant Jesus as a child “appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (2:34). And from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, opposition to Jesus arises (4:22-29). In fact, Jesus sees His rejection as a defining feature of His ministry (7:31-35).

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