eNewsletter Feature Story – September 9, 2021
This week’s eNewsletter feature
was written by Rev. Raymond Hylton,
FPCE senior pastor.
If you invested your precious time to read some, most, or all of the Psalms over the last nine weeks, congratulations.
My prayer ever continues to be this: May God’s word find a home in our lives, and may its truths challenge us and change us from the inside out.
The Bible is an important book. In fact, in my mind, it is the most important in the world! Now, that’s a bold statement.
To my mind, the Bible is nothing less than God’s message to us through human authors. We therefore need to have a solid grasp of what it really is, where it came from, and what we are to do with it.
But let’s be honest — yes, the Bible is hard to understand in some sections. Not because it is a book for elite or especially knowledgeable Christians, but because it contains a history and description of culture that is different from ours. And, to fully understand the Bible, we must do some work to understand the various peoples and historic background of the Bible.
As your Senior Pastor, I’m concerned with Biblical literacy in our congregation. Our mission is to help Christians grow in their faith, learn how the Bible informs their everyday lives, and see how Scripture grows their faith when engaged in the home. In over 35 years as a pastor, I see people in the church and outside the church dismiss the truth of the Bible, distort its core teachings, and create disunity and tribal divisions based on competing interpretations of the Bible.
But these developments did not emerge since my ordination in 1986. Check out the over two thousand years of Church history and you will discover many stories of people who used the Bible for their own devious ends, sometimes with massively deadly result.
FPCE’s Core Values
Of the five core values of our church — along with Christlike Love, Spirit-filled, Compassionate, Joyful — becoming a Scriptural church is number three:
- Accepting the Bible as God’s Word
- Preaching and teaching that is rooted in the Bible
- Applying Biblical precepts to our daily existence
- Turning to the Bible for guidance and wisdom
- Recognizing the importance of Biblical literacy
And just as we did our best to read the Psalms, I am asking you now to join me in reading through all 13 chapters of 2 Corinthians.
I am starting a new teaching series this Sunday called: Encouragement for a Grace-Filled Church.
The church in Corinth, like churches today, are filled with Christians who love God, but who still struggle with habits and attitudes that cause friction and discouragement. Like Christians in Corinth, we are living distracted, stressful lives. So many are giving up on the church, giving up on faith, questioning the reliability of God’s power to carry them through these times.
We need to take a hard look at this issue in our faith lives today.
I want you to join us in worship this Sunday. Remember, our new worship time is 9:30 a.m.
May the grace of God be with your spirit, as you read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest God’s word.
Pastor Ray Hylton