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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.

Citylight Manayunk | February 21, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Last week we learned that rebuilding requires gathering around God’s word. And what we’re going to see this week, and for the next few weeks, are various responses to God’s word. Different ways that the people back then, and by extension us now, continue the work of rebuilding by responding to God’s word that we are gathering around.

Next week we’re going to talk about obedience as a response to God’s word. But this week we get to something that is absolutely crucial if we’re going to truly obey from the heart; if we’re going to make it for the long haul in the task of rebuilding and building up the church. We see it in v. 10: “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”” The joy of the Lord. This is one of the more famous verses in the Bible. It’s one that winds up on Christian wall hangings and so forth, and rightly so, because it’s a crucial truth that we need if we’re going to rebuild; in fact, if we’re going to make it through the Christian life at all.

Rebuilding Requires Rejoicing

1. God directs our joy.

2. His joy is our strength.

3. We can understand His words.

4. There’s a holiday coming.

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:9-12

Rejoice in the Lord who rebuilds.

  1. Rejoice through celebration.
  2. Rejoice through generosity.
  3. Rejoice in God’s Word.

Citylight Delco | February 21, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:9-12

Don’t you sometimes just not feel like coming to church or rejoicing in the Lord? In this passage, God’s people didn’t either, but they were still called to, and given good reasons to. This shows us that rebuilding requires rejoicing.

Citylight Center City | February 21, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:9-12

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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Rebuilding Requires Regathering

  1. Gather to hear God’s word (v 1-5)
  2. Gather to worship (v 5b-6)
  3. Gather to understand God’s word (v 7-8)

Citylight Delco | February 14, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:1-8

As we move into Nehemiah 8, the wall has been rebuilt, the city is now secure, so Nehemiah can finally gather God’s people together as one. Nehemiah 8:1: And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they Told Ezra the Scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. That brings us to the big idea of our passage today: rebuilding requires gathering around God’s word. Now, you may be wondering, “does he mean gather in person?” We’ll come back to that. I want us to first consider the question, “why does rebuilding require gathering around God’s word?” Three answers from our passage: 1. To hear God’s word 2. To understand God’s word 3. To worship the God of the word.

Citylight Manayunk | February 14, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:1-8
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by John Frame, page 594
Expanded from David Helm’s definition in Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today
https://www.evangelicalmagazine.com/article/how-to-listen-to-sermons/

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As we move in the book of Nehemiah from a focus on rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem to a focus on rebuilding the people of Jerusalem, what do we find Nehemiah doing? Regathering the people.

Citylight Center City | February 14, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 8:1-8

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

How do we finish well? 1. Stay on the wall 2. Maintain your integrity 3. Remember the people

Citylight Manayunky | February 7, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 6-7
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible

Read sermon transcript

The focus of the book of Nehemiah thus far has been on rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. In this passage the wall rebuilding project is finished, but there is still more work to do. How do we finish well when it always seems like there is more to do?

Citylight Center City | February 7 , 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 6-7

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s DevicesThomas Brooks

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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The poor Jews bring legitimate concerns to Nehemiah: they are being oppressed by their wealthy Jewish brothers.  To handle this internal conflict, Nehemiah confronts the sin among the people leading them to repentance.  Nehemiah also works to prevent internal conflict by being a generous government official.  All of this is done though, through the focus of reverence for the Lord.  Nehemiah knows that the people of God cannot be effective in their mission unless internal conflict is repaired.

Citylight Delco | January 31, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 5

Ezra and Nehemiah, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries by Derek Kidner

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah, New International Commentary on the Old Testament by Charles Fenshman

How does Jesus lead us in overcoming internal conflict? Our passage provides us with three ways: 1. Speak the truth in love. 2. Respond to truth with humility.

Citylight Manayunk | January 31, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 5
NICOT commentary on Nehemiah
Tyndale commentary on Nehemiah
ESV Study Bible
What is true repentance?  – Ray Ortlund
Dictionary.com

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The most visible rebuilding project in Nehemiah is the wall, but what good is a strong wall if the relationships of the people meant to live in it are in shambles? This passage in Nehemiah shows us why rebuilding means rebuilding our relationships.

Citylight Center City | January 31, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Resources:

Nehemiah 5

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

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

Read sermon transcript

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

There are no sermons in this series for this congregation.