Community Presbyterian Church is a community of growing disciples, growing disciples.
Our vision and mission is to love our neighbors and focus on how we, as the church, can capture the hearts and minds of people in such a way that they are compelled to return to hear, feel, and participate with the God who loves them through Jesus.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR "Galatians"
This series will cover 13 Sundays, from 3 September through 26 November. Please plan on joining us each week for this important series. And invite someone to join you!
Sunday Mornings at CPC Ventura
This is the more contemporary of our two Sunday services, music is led by our worship band in a more high energy atmosphere. The sermon is the same at either service.
This is the more traditional of our two Sunday services, if you enjoy hearing the choir sing, like the pipe organ or singing hymns from the hymnal, this is the service for you. The sermon is the same at either service.
The Christian faith is set apart from every world religion by its uncompromising grasp of grace. Where every other religion sees salvation as something we must earn, achieve, or deserve the Christian faith holds this can never occur. Our rejection of God is so deep, pervasive, and lasting that there is nothing we can do to reverse its power or pay for its damage. Where every other world religion says we are able and must the Christian faith proclaims that God took our debt as his own paying the price and offering us, as a free gift, a new life. Grace.
The church of Galatia, having begun well, had been duped by religious legalists who brought a different “gospel” shaped by rules and regulations meant to earn God’s favour. Paul was livid.
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be cursed to hell!"
Galatians is Paul’s passionate attempt to turn a church from legalism, self-righteousness, and ritual, to grace. And it was vital. For a church that turns from grace will soon cease to be the church. People that turn to rules and rituals lose God.
And this was the message of Luther. And Calvin. And all who sought to bring renewal and reform to the church in the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation. Over fifteen-hundred years the church had lost sight of grace turning again to ritual and rules. On October 31st 1517 Luther nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church 95 points describing how the church had abandoned the gospel of grace for one of ritual and regulations. This fall is the five-hundredth anniversary of this world-changing event.
This sermon series will focus upon God’s grace as discovered in the Gospel of Jesus and rediscovered in the Reformation. We will explore this tremendously powerful letter of Paul, weaving through it some of the central themes of the Reformation. And together we will look at the wonders of God’s grace and the gift of new life given freely.
Preparation and Participation
Nothing will make this series more meaningful to you and more influential to the church than your preparation and participation. A sermon heard without forethought and left with no afterthought is unlikely to bring any new thoughts to one’s life. For this reason, we invite—even urge!—each person in the church family, to intentionally prepare, study, and wrestle together over the Scripture and messages. We are a community of growing disciples who are growing disciples. This means active pursuit of those disciplines and practices that take us deeper in faith even as we help and lead others to do the same. Thus, as we take up this important study, we encourage you to consider:
The time and energy you put into this study, more than anything else, will determine what you get out of it. We invite you to dive in deep and experience the reality of Jesus’ wonders these passages proclaim.
Taking it Deeper:
Join us Wednesday September 20th at 6:30 for a showing of the movie Luther.
Wednesday Evening Class:
Each Wednesday evening, from 6:30 to 8:00, Pastor Mark will be teaching on Galatians and the interweaving themes of the Reformation. This will be a time of exploring the text in greater detail and an opportunity to discuss its message and meaning for us today.
Books on Galatians:
Galatians for You: To Read, Feed, and Lead, Tim Keller. Beloved and visionary pastor Timothy Keller thoughtfully leads us through Galatians examining its key themes, topics, and issues. Well known for making biblical material clear and accessible as well as practical, Tim Keller is the ideal author for such an important book like Galatians www.christianbook.com/galatians
Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians (The New Testament for Everyone), N. T. Wright. Tom Wright's eye-opening comments on these letters are combined, passage-by-passage, with his fresh and inviting new translation of the Bible text. Making use of his true scholar's understanding, yet writing in an approachable and anecdotal style, Wright captures the tension and excitement of the time as the letters seek to assert Paul's authority and his teaching against other influences. www.amazon.com/Paul-Everyone-Galatians
Galatians, Martin Luther. Luther’s own insights and writings on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Written in the sixteenth century it remains one of the clearest, most powerful descriptions of grace ever written. www.christianbook.com/galatians
Books on the Reformation:
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, Roland Bainton. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was a vast and complicated movement. It involved kings and peasants, cardinals and country priests, monks and merchants. It spread from one end of Europe to the other, and manifested itself in widely differing forms. Yet in spite of its diverse and complex character, to start to understand the Reformation you need know only one name: Martin Luther. Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther remains the definitive introduction to the great Reformer and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this towering historical figure. www.amazon.com/Here-Stand-Life-Martin-Luther
Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, Heiko A. Oberman. Written by one of the world's greatest authorities on Martin Luther, this is a definitive biography of the central figure of the Protestant Reformation. “A brilliant account of Luther’s evolution as a man, a thinker, and a Christian ... Every person interested in Christianity should put this on his or her reading list.” A little “earthy” in spots; Luther was known to swear at the Devil. www.amazon.com/Luther-Man-Between-God-Devil
Calvin, f. Bruce Gordon. During the glory days of the French Renaissance, young John Calvin (1509-1564) experienced a profound conversion to the faith of the Reformation. For the rest of his days he lived out the implications of that transformation—as exile, inspired reformer, and ultimately the dominant figure of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin’s vision of the Christian religion has inspired many volumes of analysis, but this engaging biography examines a remarkable life. Bruce Gordon presents Calvin as a human being, a man at once brilliant, arrogant, charismatic, unforgiving, generous, and shrewd. www.amazon.com
October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World, Martin Marty. In a very short and clear book Martin Marty answers the question: Why is the Reformation relevant today? Rather than a historical narrative of Reformation events, he explains in this accessible book the issues that led to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, their implications for the Church and world . . . and most importantly, how this impacts us devotionally as Christians of any denomination. As one of the world’s preeminent Luther scholars, Martin Marty also explores the concept of repentance as a central theme of the Theses. www.amazon.com/October-31-1517-Martin
The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Roland Bainton and Jaroslav Pelikan. Bainton presents the many strands that made up the Reformation in a single, brilliantly coherent account. He discusses the background for Luther's irreparable breach with the Church and its ramifications for 16th Century Europe, giving thorough accounts of the Diet of Worms, the institution of the Holy Commonwealth of Geneva, Henry VIII's break with Rome, and William the Silent's struggle for Dutch independence. www.amazon.com/Reformation
Amazing Grace Galatians, the Reformation, and the Grace of God
Title & Passage
You’ve Got Mail (and it’s a Subpoena!) 1:1-10
Paul’s Testimony, Part One 1:11-24
Paul’s Testimony, 2:1-10
Dos Pueblos Sunday
Religious Hypocrisy 2:11-21
Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered 3:1-14
God is Not a Lawyer 3:15-29
You are Not a Slave 4:1-7
No Turning Back 4:8-16
Children of the Promise 4:17-31
Fruit of the Spirit 5:13-26
New Law, New Life 6:1-18
Special Celebration and Worship
World Communion Sunday
Kent Meads returns to preach this morning
Reformation Sunday-500th Anniversary
WELCOME TO CPC VENTURA
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3 Sept. 1:1-10
You’ve Got Mail (and it’s a Subpoena!) Communion Sunday
Date - Passage -
Title - Special Notes
1 Oct. 2:11-21
Religious Hypocrisy World Communion Sunday
19 Nov. 5:13-26
Fruit of the Spirit
26 Nov. 6:1-18
New Law, New Life
12 Nov. 5:1-15
5 Nov. 4:17-31
Children of the Promise Communion Sunday
29 Oct. 4:8-16
No Turning Back Reformation Sunday 500th Anniversary
22 Oct. 4:1-7
You are Not a Slave
15 Oct. 3:15-29
God is Not a Lawyer Kent Meads returns to preach this morning
8 Oct. 3:1-14
Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered
Dos Pueblos Sunday Special Celebration and Worship
17 Sept. 2:1-10
10 Sept. 1:11-24
Paul’s Testimony, Part One