John 11:35 is perhaps most well known for its brevity. It’s the shortest verse in the English Bible. Two words. While it’s a brief statement, it packs a powerful truth. Pastor Jeff Elieff helps us consider the heart of Jesus as we see it in John 11.
Archive for month: April, 2021
Recognizing our graduates:
Graduating from: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Degree: Masters of Divinity
Future plans: Ben is staying in Louisville and pursuing Chaplaincy in Military. Ben helps Pastor Philip with the security team and coordinates Sunday services at a local nursing home.
Graduating from: Boyce College
Degree: BS in Youth & Family Ministry
Future plans: Sarah will be working in Alaska for the summer at Kennicott Glacier Lodge. In the fall she will return home to Tennessee to work on getting her TEFL certificate.
Graduating from: Boyce College
Degree: BS in Elementary Education
Future plans: Savannah will pursue a career in elementary education within her hometown community and serve her family by working at their business.
Graduating from: University of the Cumberlands
Degree: BS in Psychology
Future plans: Jerm currently has two part-time jobs, uncertain of where the Lord will take him from here. Staying in Louisville for now.
Graduating from: Boyce College
Degree: BS in Humanities with a minor in biblical counseling
Future plans: Staying in Louisville, at least until next May!
Graduating from: Boyce College
Degree: BS in Biblical Studies with a Worship Pastoral emphasis
Future plans: plans to get married to Macy Kile on June 5th, then begin studies in worship at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
We are very proud of all our graduates!! Be sure to congratulate them when you see them next or with a note, email, text, or social media.
Weekly Word on Suffering:
Brought to us by Graham Faulkner who teaches in our singles ministry!
If I asked you to define the word “suffering”, how would you? You might start by looking it up in the dictionary, but unfortunately, you would not find much help. Webster’s dictionary defines suffering as “the state or experience of one who suffers.” While unclear, this definition gets at what comes to mind when we think about “suffering”: it’s hard to define, but we know it when we see it or feel it.
Suffering is not foreign to the Bible. It enters in Genesis 3 and does not drop from the pages of Scripture until the very end when Jesus returns and rids creation of all tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain (Rev. 21:4). The worst suffering imaginable is recorded in the Bible: the unmitigated wrath of God endured by Jesus on the cross. Suffering results from sin and will one day be removed by Jesus. In light of this, we might propose a better definition of suffering: suffering is the pain experienced as a result of the Fall.
In Romans 5:1-11, Paul writes that one of the benefits of being made right with God is joy in our suffering (5:3). This seems counterintuitive. If we have been made right with God, why do we suffer? Paul does not answer this how we want him to. He does not tease out the nuances of why pain exists in our lives, especially as the people of God. Instead, he makes a bolder claim: we should rejoice in our suffering because it brings us hope (5:4). Not only does Paul leave our most pressing question unanswered, but he instructs us to rejoice in the pain that we experience because it points us to a hope that does not put us to shame (5:5). How can this be?
In Romans, Paul connects hope with the joy-filled assurance that God will bring His promises to pass (cf., 4:18-19; 5:2; 12:2). Paul writes that suffering leads to hope, “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (5:5). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God pouring out his love into our hearts and lives, something he promised for his new covenant people in the Old Testament (cf., Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:27). His presence with us means that our suffering is never wasted. He uses suffering to produce endurance and tested character in us (5:3-4). In other words, God uses suffering to mold us into the people He desires us to be. When we face suffering, the Lord reminds us that he is preparing us for something greater. Suffering is nothing less than preparation for glory (cf., 2 Cor. 4:17).
Therefore, suffering builds up our hope as it reminds us that God is using the pain of the Fall on earth to prepare us for eternity with Him in heaven.
Ultimately, then, we rejoice in suffering because of Jesus. The ground for our hope in suffering is “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). Our hope does not put us to shame because Jesus has justified us by his blood, reconciled us to God through his death, and saved us by his resurrection from the dead (5:9-10). Therefore, “we rejoice in God” (5:11). In Christ, our suffering is not a picture of something worse that is to come. Rather, it points us to the day when God in Christ will make all things new (Rev. 21:5).
In chapters 10 of Gentle & Lowly, Dane Ortlund expresses how our love for God must surpass even our love for our parents, as seen in Matthew 10:37. Michael Knight helps us consider our job is as parents and examples to children. We are called to display God as the pinnacle and focus of our ultimate love. Why do we not make God the utmost pursuit and primary purpose of our lives?
Pastor Philip takes a look at God’s Advocate Agency. Jesus Christ, the righteous is our advocate! He pleads for us. He helps us. Do you have Christ as your advocate?
Jesus serves as our great high priest who saves to the uttermost and intercedes on our behalf, and represents us before our Father. His priesthood is endless, saves, and his ministry of intercession for those who draw near to God never ends.
Juan Mendoza helps us consider the powerful truth found in Hebrews 7:25. Jesus can save to the uttermost all who place their faith in him. Big sinners require a bigger savior. Jesus is that savior!
Sunday Night with Gentle and Lowly
Join us for our last Sunday night study at 7 pm in room 202. We are finishing up our quick run-through of Gentle and Lowly.
Sunday night reading schedule: April 25 (Ch. 18-23).
Where are you serving?
Ninth and O is a church that believes that all of its members have a gift that can and should be used in the body to do the work that God has given us to do.
One of Pastor Philip’s passions is for all college and singles to lead the way in this way of service. Covid has made it difficult up until now for this to have worked out (for both long-term members and new members) looking for ways to serve. However-as we start working to get back to normal, pastor Philip and the leaders will be looking for your help-so beat them to the punch by asking where you can help! Share with them where you believe you are gifted and they will be happy to help you find the right area for you to serve in. One of the best ways to get started is with our class called Next Step. Click here to register for the next class.
Not many announcements this week due to preparations for what is to come this summer. Keep pressing on this week and enjoy the weekly word.
Weekly Word-Psalm 16:11
Brought to us by Dr. Howell, one of our college BFG leaders. He provides us with a timely encouragement from one of the Psalms.
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
During this lengthy season of difficulty, it has been challenging for many of us to find and experience joy. Most of the time, we likely reply with, “I’m good” or “I’m ok” when asked how things are going, but we can’t seem to conjure up any genuine joy even when we put on a happy face. Psalm 16:11 is one of my favorite verses in the Psalms because it gives us expectation for joy in the present as well as hope for everlasting joy.
In the present, Psalm 16:11 tells us that, “in your presence there is fullness of joy.” Since the presence of God is always with us in Christ, we genuinely are in the presence of God at all times. Therefore, if David is right, that fullness of joy is found in the presence of God, then we have access to the fullness of joy at all times…including the dark days of this past year. That doesn’t mean that joy is always easy to find, but it does mean that it is there.
Notice also that this joy is in the presence of God and it is “full.” We can’t find or conjure up this joy by looking to anything other than the glory of God in the face of Christ. As we behold the beauty of Christ, we move our gaze away from our difficulties and onto the one who gives us everlasting joy. Also, this joy is “full.” The joy that God offers us in his presence is not flimsy or diminished; it is full. We shouldn’t just expect enough joy in God’s presence to get us by. Rather, we should expect to be overwhelmed by an inexplicable joy in the midst of suffering and difficulty. We should expect, by faith, that God will increase our joy for the sake of his glory as we find our joy-filled refuge in him alone. The joy that God offers us in Christ is present and full. By faith, we look expectantly to the beauty of Christ and we can genuinely experience fullness of joy.
For the future, David tells us that at God’s right hand are “pleasures forevermore.” The fullness of joy that we have now is only a glimpse of the infinite joy and pleasure that will be ours in heaven. Jonathan Edwards wrote a sermon called “Heaven: A World of Love.” In that sermon, he argues that in heaven, our joy will be always full and always increasing. So, for all eternity, our joy will be as full as it can be as we experience infinite pleasures at God’s right hand. Surely, with eyes of faith, we can be encouraged in the present by the hopeful prospect of this kind of joy for all eternity.
So, during what has been a very difficult season for most of us, let us gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and plead with him to restore our joy. Let us press on in obedience each day as we wait expectantly on the Lord to restore our gladness in Christ. Let us lean on one another and point one another to the hope of pleasures forevermore. In so doing, we will find the joy of the Lord even in the darkness and will discover the “path of life” that God offers. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5).
Ryan Hanley helps us consider this question from Chapter 7 of Dane Ortlund’s book, Gentle and Lowly, “What father could bring himself to put up for adoption his beloved son, just because his son messed up big time?” God is not throwing up his hands in exasperation with us. He is our loving Father who will not disown us but discipline us out of love for our good.
Jesus offers himself as the Bread of Life to satisfy our spiritual hunger. Whoever comes to Jesus will never be cast out. We who are in Christ will by faith be saved and raised with him on the last day. Who can you share this good news with today?
Don’t delay in coming to Jesus. He deals gently with all types of sinners. Just come to him. Failure to come will surely bring his wrath. Come now, come humbly, receive forgiveness from our great and gentle High Priest.