StoneBridge Community Church
Cultivate - Fear and Trembling
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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In Cultivate, we will be turning to Paul's letter to the Philippians to see how God cultivates churches so that churches will produce a "harvest of righteousness."

The Text In Context

"Paul urges the Philippian saints to 'continue working out your salvation with humility and dependence' (verse 12). Several things need to be said about this command. It is a command given to Christians, urging them to “flesh out” (incarnate, live out) their faith. It is not a command to 'work for' their salvation. We should not even consider this as an option,..."
Read more by clicking this link.
Sermon Outline

To help you follow along, here is a rough outline of the sermon for this week.

I. Imagine that you are in the room when Paul's letter was first read.
A. You are listening to someone else read it, because you probably didn't know how to read.
B. You are likely in someone's home, because that is where Christians met.
C. You would be surrounded by other Christians, all excited to hear what Paul has to say.

II. Fear and Trembling?
A. The letter was so encouraging, but now Paul is talking about "Working out your salvation with fear and trembling." What does he mean?
B. This could increase pressure on a new Christian. Or, any Christian.

III. Salvation
A. The bottom line is, what Paul is talking about is important.
B. Salvation is not just "dying and going to heaven."
C. Salvation is being saved from sin, suffering, death, persecution, shame.
D. Salvation is also being saved FOR a purpose, mainly, pursuing the mission God has given the church, to spread hope.
E. Salvation begins now, not when we die, and is ongoing.

IV. "Shine as Stars"
A. God promised that Abraham's descendants would be like the stars.
B. God isn't just pointing to how many descendants Abraham would have, but also what they would be like.
C. Stars in the ancient world were thought of differently than we think of them today.
D. Stars were guides who helped people.
E. Abraham's descendants are meant to help the world and bless it.
F. This could increase the pressure on someone following Jesus. How do we live up to that?

V. Lydia
A. A mature Christian in Philippi, someone who knew Paul as Lydia did, would be able to remind everyone to let go of any pressure.
B. Following Jesus is not about our work. It's about God's work.
C. Paul reminds them that they should work out their salvation with fear and trembling because God is working amongst them.
D. Fear and Trembling is more about recognizing that God is at work in our lives than it is about us feeling pressure.
E. The first step in working out your salvation is recognizing God's work in your life.
F. The church that God is cultivating recognizes God's work.

Lydia in Philippi

Pastor Jon mentioned Lydia in his sermon. Here is an article that reflects on Lydia, her personality and her contributions to the church in Philippi.

Article on Ancient Letter Writing

Pastor Jon mentioned that writing in the ancient world was different than in our day. For those interested in a deep dive into ancient writing processes, here is an (lengthy) article on how Paul's letters were composed.

God's Promise to Abraham

Here is a brief synopsis of God's promise to Abraham, a promise that Paul was very aware of and that influenced much of Paul's thoughts about the church.

1. What do you imagine it was like for a church to receive one of Paul's letters?

2. Do you ever feel pressure at the thought of following Jesus? If so, what kind of pressure do you feel? What causes the pressure?

3. Is it easy for you to recognize God's work in your life? If so, what has helped you gain this perspective? If it isn't easy, what makes it difficult for you?

4. How can you help yourself and/or others see God's work more clearly?

All aboard! StoneBridge Day Camp is next week and we can use your help! Join us this Sunday and help us make day camp come to life by turning the StoneBridge campus into Rocky Railway! Come when you can and leave when you must. Can't make it in person? Please consider donating snacks for our awesome volunteers! We're looking for pre-packaged snacks like granola bars, danishes, sliced apples, etc.

Starting Tuesday, June 29th @ 4pm: Hosted by Stephanie Leedy, Director of Children's and Family Ministries, the StoneBridge Parents podcast is dedicated to having real, honest conversations with members of our community. Each week we will talk with a special guest about a variety of parenting topics including entitlement, special needs, mom guilt, and more! We have some amazing episodes, moments, and parenting game-changers parents of all ages will want to hear.

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