Friday, September 12, 2014

Update on Week 2

As this week's reading was quite intensive, we decided to break it down into two weeks.  This week we discussed Romans 1:18-31, and will follow up with Romans 2:1-16 next week.  There is a LOT of context, doctrine, and application packed into this relatively short passage of Scripture, and is especially challenging to tackle in less than an hour's time.

Having said that, we are off to a wonderful start!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Romans 1:18-2:16

romans2 Our discussion of the book of Romans continues this week with Romans 1:18-2:16, a stinging indictment on the baser nature of mankind, of rebellion (and outright rejection) toward God, and of God’s anger toward sin.  It is not light reading, but this passage contains essential truths that we must face about ourselves, and about the very world Christ came to save.  It is within this darkness that the light of the Good News stands in brightness contrast.


What is one example of the world’s corruption, disintegration or decay that was evident to you in the past week?

  • How, according to Paul in verses 1:18-23, can all humankind know about God?
  • In verses 24-27, how has human life been distorted from the intentions of God in creation?
  • What would it be like to live in a town where all the people were like those described in verses 28-32, especially those depicted in verse 32?
  • Paul proclaims in verse 11 that God shows no partiality in judgment.  How does Paul then explain in 2:12-16 how this will be true for both Jews and Gentiles?
We’ll be discussing these questions and more this week at Christ & Coffee!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

Disclaimer: These questions have been drawn from N.T. Wright’s study guide on the book of Romans, and are posted here to provide a general sample of the in-depth study each chapter entails.  Though the study guide is not required for participation in our weekly study, it is an excellent resource for advanced study of God’s word.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Romans 1:1-17

romans1-16 After half a year studying the Gospel of John together, we are now at the beginning of a whole new book.  Where John gave us an eyewitness narrative of the life of Jesus, Romans provides us with a doctrine-rich letter from the Apostle Paul, full of insight and application about how to walk out Jesus’ invitation to ‘follow Me.’ 

Each week, I’ll be posting the reading for that week, along with a few accompanying questions from the study guide by N.T. Wright.  Although it is helpful to have a copy of the book, the Bible will be our main source of discussion.

We begin our study of the book of Romans with a reading of Romans 1:1-17.

Opening Question:

In what ways is it risky or daring to be a Christian in your community today?

Study Questions:
  • In verse 5, Paul uses the term “believing obedience” to depict the goal of the grace and apostleship which Paul and others received.  What does “believing obedience” look like in a Christian’s life?
  • Why would news about the faith of the Roman church have spread far and wide?
  • How are we tempted to be ashamed of the Good News in our own society?’
I look forward to our discussion!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Do You Love Me?"

This week, we conclude our study of the Gospel of John with a look at an intimate breakfast by the sea with the risen Jesus.

He had come to this world as the ultimate expression of the love of God, and demonstrated His full love for us on the cross, and now, in John 21, as He prepares to return to His father, He poses a question to Peter, and by extension, to all of us,  

"Do you love Me?"

Like Peter, this is a question that we must wrestle with.  It is easy to respond with "I like You a lot," or "I respect You," or even, "I admire You."  To respond with "I love You," though, involves a deep personal commitment.

Do you love Him?

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Christ and Coffee on a Thursday Morning

Ask my wife.  I am NOT a morning person.  Oh, these days I do go to bed far earlier than I ever used to, but mornings, despite having gotten somewhat easier in recent years, still feel against my nature.  Come the latter half of the week, everything in me wants to hit the snooze alarm for as long as possible.

But on Thursday mornings, I am highly motivated to push past the urge to linger in my bed, to rise up from my groggy slumber, and to get up and out the door to the Dunkin Donuts just up the street.  As much as I love the coffee there, the greatest reason that I show up week after week is for the opportunity to start my morning studying the Bible with other Christians.

Some weeks it is only two of us, and other times it's a bit more.  No matter how few or how many attend, there is always a sense of authentic community in Christ, as we share of our lives, our experiences, our perceptions and perspectives, and in the process, learn even more about the Word of God we hold so dear. I cannot think of a single instance when I've left not knowing more than I did when I arrived.

I'll be sharing more about the purposes of Christ & Coffee in a future post.  For now, though, I will say this -- this ministry has been a huge blessing to ME.  While I hope and pray that all who attend (and who are in earshot) are spiritually encouraged and equipped, I can testify that my knowledge of the Word has been sharpened, my faith has been strengthened, my joy has been increased, my love for God and for others has been exponentially expanded.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Romans Study Guide


Beginning the first week of September 2014, we will be studying the book of Romans, using the study guide by N.T. Wright.

While the study guide is an optional part of this study, like our last study through the book of John, it will prove to be an excellent resource in helping to prepare for our weekly discussions.  However, the ONLY book that is required reading for any of these studies is the Bible. 

If you are interested in ordering a copy of the Romans study guide, or in purchasing a Kindle version, or if you would just like more information about the guide, please visit:\

God bless you!
Pastor Joe