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Nehemiah: Rebuilding Together

The New Testament calls all Christians elect exiles (1 Peter 1:1) because we are citizens of heaven and not home where we are. COVID-19 has caused us to experience our exile in new and unique ways. The church has been battered and there are threats to growth and faithfulness on every side. In 2021, we enter into a season of rebuilding an attractively different gospel culture so that the city around us will see our good deeds and give glory to God in heaven. Nehemiah provides us with a timeless guide to rebuilding a city within the city.

The book of Nehemiah is all about rebuilding together after hardship. In Nehemiah 1-3, we’ve learned that rebuilding together begins with prayer, but in chapter four we learn that rebuilding proceeds amidst opposition. That brings us to the big idea of our passage is: Keep rebuilding in the face of opposition. Citylight, we are in a season of seeking the rebuilding and renewing grace of God for ourselves personally and for our church as an attractively different gospel-culture that portrays the very beauty of Jesus. For us, rebuilding means each of us taking our dignified place and doing our dignified part in building up our church in gospel-empowered worship, community, and mission. The Bible says we are always rebuilding in the face of opposition, but Nehemiah 4 provides three ways to keep rebuilding in the face of opposition: (1) Look to the Lord (2) Encourage one another (3) Stay on guard.

Citylight Manayunk | January 24, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 4
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible
Adapted from Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-surprising-ministry-of-encouragement Ibid
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/christus-victor/

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We’ve all probably heard the saying, “Haters gon’ hate.” Anything you do, there will be someone who doesn’t like it. Building up Jesus’ church is no different. In this passage, we learn how to keep going even when the haters hate.

Citylight Center City | January 24, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 4

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament), Charles Fensham

Ezra and Nehemiah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries), Derek Kidner

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Nehemiah 2-3 provide three reasons why it’s worth pouring our lives into building up the church and strengthening our gospel culture: 1. God’s good hand is on us. 2. God has put a good work in our hearts. 3. God rebuilds through each of our hands.

 

Citylight Manayunk Service | January 17, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 2-3
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible

Read sermon transcript

When we sense there is something God wants us to do, getting started can be the hardest part. This is especially the case when we’re rebuilding something that’s broken. In this passage, we see the actual work of rebuilding get started; so let’s rise and build together.

Citylight Center City | January 17, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 2-3

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament), Charles Fensham

Ezra and Nehemiah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries), Derek Kidner

Read sermon transcript

Nehemiah 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. This brings us to the big idea of our passage: Rebuilding begins with prayer. There are three basic kinds of prayer: upward prayer (praise), inward prayer (confession), and outward prayer (petition). How does prayer rebuild us? 1. Praise reorients us 2. Confession humbles us 3. Petition empowers us. (Nod to Tim Keller)

Citylight Manayunk | January 10, 2020 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 1Prayer by Tim Keller
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible
Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World by Tom Schreiner

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2020 was a hard year in many ways, and 2021 thus far has brought its own difficulties. Even our church has not been unaffected. How do we begin rebuilding? Nehemiah shows us that rebuilding begins with prayer.

Citylight Center City | January 10, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 1

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament), Charles Fensham

Ezra and Nehemiah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries), Derek Kidner

Read sermon transcript

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