Out of the Spotlight (Week 8): “E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One”

Cameron Sapaugh, Theology Student – Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18

This week concludes the “Out of the Spotlight” sermon series, in which Redemption Bible Church learns of several less well-known characters in the Bible. Cameron Sapaugh teaches us about Simon the Zealot and his relationship with Matthew. We know a lot about the famous Simon, Simon Peter, Christ’s closest disciple. But what do we know about the less well known Simon, Simon the Zealot. You may have just passed over this name when reading through the Gospels, but there is a reason that the Gospel authors make sure to identify this Simon as Simon the Zealot. As we know one of Christ’s other disciples, Matthew, is himself a tax collector. One would expect these two men to not get along at all but through the Gospel we see two individuals with widely different views putting aside their differences and working together for Jesus Christ. There are a lot of things that divide us today. Race. Socio-economic status. Politics. And yet, Christ has broken down every barrier that divides us. In Christ, we should embrace one another.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 7): “Rhoda: Good News Must Be Shared”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – Acts 12:1-19

Pastor Jason Mayhall leads Redemption Bible Church to look at what the Book of Acts says about Rhoda, part of the “Out of the Spotlight” series examining some of the less well-known characters of the Bible. After killing James, the brother of John, Herod imprisons Peter. The church of Jerusalem prays intensely for Peter and he is miraculously freed by an angel of the Lord. Peter heads for the house where the prayer meeting supporting him is happening and the door is answered by a servant girl named Rhoda. Before she even opens the door, she recognizes Peter’s voice and runs to tell the group that Peter is there. The prayer group calls her crazy for thinking Peter is free, but she insists on what she knows to be true! The prayer group then answers the door and are amazed as they did not believe their prayers had been answered. Have you ever been delighted in an answered prayer? Have you ever known something to be true and no one believed you? Rhoda was knowledgeable (she recognized Peter’s voice), she was joyous at his return, and was persistently vocal about the truth to the rest of the group. We need to repent and ask God to make us grateful, joyful, spontaneous people who celebrate life, who forget what others might think, and tell them how God has answered our prayers. Enthusiasm and joy draw people to Jesus a lot more effectively that reticence, cynicism and defeatism.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 6): “God’s Blessing and the World’s Benefits Can Be Easily Confused”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – Hebrews 7:1-28

This week, Pastor Jason Mayhall continues leading Redemption Bible Church in the “Out of the Spotlight” sermon series, a study of several less well-known characters in the Bible. Melchizedek, the king of Salem (which later became Jerusalem), appears in only a few verses in the entire Bible and yet Jesus is called a High Priest after his name! What did Melchizedek do that was so wonderful? In Genesis 13, Abram and his nephew, Lot, part ways. Some time later a battle broke out in the land, and Lot found himself caught in the crossfire. He and his family were carried off by one of the armies, so Abram had to rescue him. After defeating the army and rescuing Lot, Abram was undoubtedly exhausted and certainly proud of his victory. He had also acquired a large amount of booty, which it was customary in those days for the victors in battle to share among themselves. Abram was physically exhausted and facing the twin dangers of pride and covetousness. But God cared for Abram, and spoke to another servant of His to help him. Melchizedek met all of Abram’s needs without knowing anything about them because he did what God told him to do. The best servant is the one who can turn our attention away from ourselves and our accomplishments to the Lord Himself.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 5): “A Dead Dog at the King’s Table”

Cameron Sapaugh, Theology Student – 2 Samuel 9:1-13

This week, Redemption Bible Church continues the “Out of the Spotlight” sermon series, the study of several less well-known characters in the Bible. Cameron Sapaugh teaches us about Mephibosheth, the grandson of King Saul. After Saul’s death, David began to take his rightful place as king. David shows mercy to his enemy when none was required of him. Because of his position as a son of Saul, Mephibosheth deserved death, and yet, David does the opposite. Not only does he spare Mephibosheth, but David offers him the greatest privilege he could offer—sonship. This poor man, whom the author reminds us is “lame in both feet”, could do nothing to change his dire situation. He couldn’t change who he was; he couldn’t even flee away and save his own life. And yet, the king calls him to himself, forgives him, adopts him, and shares with him everything he has. God has done the same for us. Because of our sin we deserved death and yet, because of God’s grace, we received life—and so much more. We get to eat at the king’s table continually, although we are lame in both feet.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 4): “Lois and Eunice: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World; Leaving a Godly Legacy”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15; Acts 16:3

Redemption Bible Church continues the “Out of the Spotlight” sermon series, the study of several less well-known characters in the Bible. Pastor Jason Mayhall describes Paul’s second letter to Timothy in which he encourages Timothy to “continue in the things you have learned and been assured of… and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings.” Paul mentions two specific women, Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother and mother who spiritually raised Timothy, ultimately yielding a massive influence on his life and the life of those around him. They faithfully modeled the spiritual life for Timothy by teaching him the Bible. This does not mean we should diminish the importance of gathering and learning as the body of Christ, but God has designed the family as a unique place in which children can be brought up in a sincere faith, knowing the Holy Scriptures. Lois and Eunice probably didn’t know this boy would become a leader of the church at Ephesus and accomplish great things for the work of Christ. The work of Lois and Eunice demonstrates how parents are to be the primary teacher of faith to their children through their words and actions. We never know the influence we can have on others. If you have children, you will have a huge influence on their life. If you don’t, there are certainly other people in your life you can influence through your devotion to Christ. As Christians we must know that everyone we engage with can be a carrier of the Gospel to a future generation.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 3): “Bezalel: The Spirit-Filled Engineer”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – Exodus 31: 1-11

Redemption Bible Church continues its “Out of the Spotlight” series, focused on several less well-known characters in the Bible. Pastor Jason Mayhall leads us through Exodus 31. After the Israelites escaped the tyranny of Egypt, God instructed them to build the tabernacle—a place where God would dwell among His people. Heading up this project would be none other than a craftsman named Bezalel. He would work with gold, silver, stones, and wood. The requirements for the tabernacle were very specific so Bezalel had an important job. The most interesting thing about this man comes in Exodus 31:2. God tells Moses that he has “filled him with the Spirit of God.” In fact, this is the very first of the many instances this phrase occurs in the Bible. God had filled him with His Spirit for the purpose of manual labor. Bezalel is not filled in order to preach, evangelize, prophecy… he is filled in order to labor. One can argue this passage shows how God views our 9 to 5 weekdays. In some way, He sees the shaping of stones and the cutting of wood as an important task—one so essential that Bezalel needs to be filled with the Spirit for it. God does not divide the sacred and the secular. History, including Christian history and modern history, is filled with those who see the physical as bad and the spiritual as good. We may think we only accomplish important things in quiet times, on Sunday mornings, or when we are out sharing the Gospel, but God values 9 to 5 just as much. Adam worked before the fall. Jesus Himself worked as a carpenter for almost 30 years before He began His public ministry. This passage prompts one to ask, “How does God view our work and how does it fit into his overarching purpose?”

Out of the Spotlight (Week 2): “The Widow of Zarephath”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – 1 Kings 17:1-24

Pastor Jason Mayhall leads Redemption Bible Church in continuing the sermon series entitled “Out of the Spotlight,” focused on several less well-known characters in the Bible. In this story the prophet Elijah tells the wicked king Ahab that it would not rain for three years upon his kingdom. Fleeing the wrath of the king, God tells Elijah to go to the city Zarephath where a widow will provide for him. In this story, we see a mighty display of faith from the widow. She gives all that she has because she believes in God’s word. She doesn’t have anything to fall back on—she is all in. She chooses to trust God rather than take things into her own hands risking not only her life but also the life of her son. What does it look like for us to trust God? Would we actually risk everything we have, believing Him to be trustworthy? Would we dare invest our earthly money for heavenly purposes when we can’t see these purposes with our eyes but only through faith in God’s word? The widow went all in. She counted the cost—her whole livelihood—and believed that God’s purpose was worth it.

Out of the Spotlight (Week 1): “Epaphroditus: Behind the Scene Laborer”

Jason Mayhall, Lead Pastor – Philippians 2:25-30

Pastor Jason Mayhall leads Redemption Bible Church in beginning a new sermon series entitled “Out of the Spotlight.” This series will focus on several smaller characters in the Bible, and we will see there are major lessons to be offered from these minor characters. This week’s focus is Epaphroditus (e-paf-ro-Di’-tus) who was sent by the Philippians to assist Paul as he spread the Gospel. This included the time Paul spent imprisoned in Rome. Paul wrote about Epaphroditus while in prison, telling the Philippians that Epaphroditus worked extremely hard to support him and the church, so much that he “came close to death for the work of Christ.” This man was willing to sacrifice all he had in order to help Paul. Although we may not be “Apostle Paul” or “Martin Luther” we can learn from Epaphroditus’ example. God wants each one of us to work hard to further His kingdom. Even if we are not the one in the spotlight we can still find ways to help spread the Gospel as a church needs regular people like us to accomplish its mission.