Paul’s first missionary journey both confronts and invites powerful politicians into the good news of the resurrected Jesus. The radical story invites us think about what it is that motivates Paul to let go of the religious and political forms that he had once held on to so tightly.
Acts Chapter 12 is the epic story of Peter's imprisonment and miraculous freeing. Why is this part of the story and how can we wrap our heads around such an improbable account? To answer those questions we'll turn to some of the worlds leading scientists for help and dig into the political context around Peter's incarceration.
The first people to call themselves “Christians” where gentile believers in a new and growing church in Antioch. Why there? A seemingly insignificant portion of scripture that connects two more prominent passages together reveals to us some of the major forces at play in the life of the early followers of Jesus.
Acts 11 opens with Peter recounting to the rest of the Jewish believers his encounter with Gods work in the home of a Roman soldier named Cornelius. In many ways this passage is a microcosm for the overarching purpose of the book of Acts: to show God’s mission moved from its expression in the people, nation, culture, and ethnicity of the people of Israel to its global and universal expression as a hope for all people. The question Peter asks is “who am I to stand in the way?”
During the first week of advent we encounter an apocalyptic text from Luke’s Gospel. Why Apocalypse? Why now while we are preparing for Jesus? Why does Jesus lean on Old Testament scriptures to make this apocalyptic point over and over? Lean into the hope of advent with us.
Author Austin Channing Brown joins Last City to preach a powerful message about what it means to advocate for the image of God in others.
“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting the Lord.”
This is scripture and others like it have been used to do damage to the image of God inherit in women for a thousand years. We often choose to read over this scripture and others like it in an attempt to pretend they aren’t there. This week we press into the central question of Bible study: “What would the first readers have heard when they read this scripture?” We’ll deal with these texts head on and we find that they are more liberating than we may have imagined.
Paul uses the Jesus’ future vision of the world to set up his argument about how the Colossians are to live now. In doing so he gives us one of the simplest and most distinctive pictures of what Good living looks like. Our identity in the future of Jesus is the ultimate driver of our ethics right here and right now.
Paul dives head first into the problem (or set of problems) that he is trying to address with his letter to the Colossian church. He describes two worlds; two dynamic and powerful forces that are at play vying for the attention of the new Christ followers there. Which world is the right one?
The Apostle Paul reminds us that over and against the prevailing messages of the day, the philosophical takes that require us to downgrade our self identity for the sake of someone elses profit, Jesus came to affirm humanity, even and especially our human bodies. More than that: Jesus came to depose the forces that oppose our humanity, that seek to gain from and exploit our humanity.
Penned from Prison the apostle Paul digs into his own roll in bringing God’s plan to the church at Colossae. What does it mean to suffer on behalf of someone else? This week we look deeper into the hard, long, marathon work of loving the world as God does.
What is “The Gospel” that the apostle Paul is always talking about? What does it mean to have our faith planted in a firm foundation? So many of us at Last City are here because we need a place to unpack our own history and baggage with the church. Lets talk about how to do that well and without destroying the good things that are waiting for us as we excavate the rubble.