Posts tagged #Tim Bruns

Pictures of Celebration

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-9

Sermon Notes

  1. Celebrating with the Lord's Supper
  2. Celebrating with Baptism

Discussion Questions

Download the questions as a printable PDF file.


Share your baptism experience or a memorable communion celebration.


The following two articles are from our church’s Statement of Faith; read them as a group.

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.

  1. Spiritual baptism: At conversion, we believe that the Holy Spirit baptizes/immerses/places a person into union with Christ or into the body of Christ. Read the following verses: Romans 8:9-11, 14-15; Galatians 5:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; Colossians 1:9-12, 2:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:5. Describe the work of the Spirit in these passages and discuss the help and encouragement these truths can bring to a Christian’s life.
  2. Water baptism: Our church believes that people—specifically those who have trusted in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross as their only hope of salvation—should be obedient to what the Bible says and be baptized. Read the following verses: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 10:34-48; Romans 6:3-5. Discuss how these passages answer the why and when of water baptism and what this ordinance symbolizes. 
  3. Communion: When Jesus inaugurated communion, He and the disciples were celebrating the Passover (see Luke 22:14-16; compare to Exodus 12:1-14). That feast began hundreds of years earlier when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Jesus infused new meaning by taking the bread and the cup and tying it to His body and blood. How does the picture of Passover find fulfillment in Christ? See 1 Corinthians 5:7 and Hebrews 9:11-15, 10:10-14. Lastly, read 1 Corinthians 11:26. According to the Apostle Paul, what are we doing as we partake of communion? 


We have focused on two ordinances (practices) that followers of Christ hold dear out of reverence and obedience to the Lord. They are powerful symbols of what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. But as we read earlier, they are not a means of salvation. The Bible makes clear that there is bad news for every person: all are sinners deserving of condemnation. No ordinance, religious practice, or good work can change our hopeless situation. But it also says there is good news for every person: Jesus is the way, truth, and life (John 3:16-18, 14:6). The Philippian jailer asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” and the Apostle Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). Are you asking the same question today? If so, talk to your Community Group leader, contact one of the church pastors, or visit the church website and read the “How Do We Get to Heaven?” article:

Maybe you are a follower of Christ but have not gone through water baptism, the public declaration that you have turned to God in repentance and have trusted in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Visit the church website for more information on the purpose of baptism and the process we have at EFCCL:

Posted on March 15, 2015 and filed under Special Services.

Can God Be Trusted?

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Genesis 15:1-6

Sermon Notes

  1. God is there to encourage us when we are uncertain about life.
  2. God is honored when we trust Him and graciously rewards our faith.
  3. God will demonstrate that He is able to be trusted.

Discussion Questions

Download the discussion questions as a printable PDF file.


Many times, after some big event in our lives, there can be a kind of letdown once it is over (graduation, wedding, birth of a child). The same can be true spiritually (ministry event, spiritual battle). Share an example with the group from your own life.


  1. In Genesis 15:1-6, we see God encouraging Abraham to not be afraid. Fear is a part of all of our lives. Look at these passages to see how God wants to help us in the midst of our fears: Joshua 1:5-9, Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 10:28, 2 Timothy 1:7.
  2. The Lord told Abraham that He would be his shield. Read the following verses to glean more on this powerful image: Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 3:1-4, 5:11-12; Proverbs 2:3, 30:5. Compare those verses with the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:10-18.
  3. Genesis 15:6 says that “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited to him as righteousness.” That verse is quoted in the following New Testament passages: Romans 3:28-4:8, Galatians 3:6-9, James 2:14-26. How and why do the human authors use the quote? Is there a contradiction between Paul (justified by faith) and James (righteous by what they do)? If not, how do you reconcile the passages? (Also look at Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-14.)
  4. Abraham is an important figure in the biblical narrative—both as an example of faith (though not perfect!) and because it was through him that the Lord blessed the whole world by means of the salvation that was accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. Read and discuss the New Testament “commentary” that sheds more light on the life of Abraham (Romans 4:18-25, Hebrews 11:8-19).
  5. In our passage, God reaffirmed a promise He made to Abraham. The Bible contains many promises that the Lord has made. What do the following references say about the promise-making God: Joshua 21:45; Psalm 119:140, 148, 162; 2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Peter 1:4? As a group, come up with a list of at least a dozen promises that are given to Christians.
  6. In Hebrews 11, it says that faith pleases God and that the “saints of old” were commended for their faith. The following verses can be instructive for us to be people who live by faith: Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:16-17; Galatians 2:16-20, 3:11; Hebrews 10:35-11:6, 11:32-38.


Abraham was fearful, worried, and uncertain about the future. You may find yourself having those same feelings—because of a stressful job, a broken relationship, financial pressures, health concerns, discouragement, or overwhelming grief. Find one or more promises of God that speak particularly to your situation. Read and meditate on these; pray them back to God. Ask your group to also pray for you. 

Posted on October 26, 2014 and filed under Special Services.

A God-Centered Prayer

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Colossians 1:9-14

  1. The Reason for the Prayer
  2. The Request of the Prayer
  3. The Result from the Prayer
  4. Epilogue: All Because of the Rescue

Discussion Questions

Download the discussion questions as a printable PDF file.


Briefly describe a person, book, or event that has impacted your prayer life.


  1. Paul says in Colossians 1:19 that “for this reason” he prays for the church at Colosse. What was (were) the reason(s)?
  2. The Scriptures urge God’s people to “pray continually.” (See 1 Samuel 12:23; Luke 18:1-8; Acts 10:1-10, 12:5; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; and 2 Thessalonians 1:11.) Certainly the Lord can answer a prayer after the first time it is uttered (Daniel 9:23), so what is the purpose of, what are we to learn from, or what is the value for Christians being diligent in praying?
  3. It appears that some in the Colossian church were following after false knowledge (Colossians 2:8, 18, 21-23). Paul sought to combat that with the teaching them the right kind of knowledge (1:25-27, 2:2-3). What are some of the human commands and teachings that the church faces today? How do we fight against them? Discuss. Then also read Romans 12:2 and Hebrews 5:14.
  4. Look at the following verses for what Jesus Christ has done for believers through His finished work on the cross—Colossians 1:12-14, 22-23; 2:9-14. Which of these speaks most powerfully to your own heart at this stage of your Christian life?
  5. In this prayer, Paul says Christians share in the inheritance of the saints. Look at Romans 8:16-18, Galatians 4:4-7, 1 Peter 1:3-5, and 1 John 3:1-3. Discuss the further implications of our inheritance in Christ Jesus.


Many of the recorded prayers in Scripture are God-centered prayers. A great way to help us keep our own prayers focused on the Lord is to use verses from His Word. Develop a list of at least a dozen Bible passages that will help guide your prayer life. Use two or three of them this week as you pray for yourself, those closest to you, and for our church. Here are some suggestions to get you started; come up with more as a group:

  • John 15:5, 8, 10
  • Romans 16:5-6, 13
  • 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, 10:11-13
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • Ephesians 1:17-19
  • Philippians 1:9-11
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, 3:12-13
  • 1 Timothy 4:12
  • James 1:2-5
Posted on March 30, 2014 and filed under Special Services.

The Raw Side of Christmas

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Psalm 22
Series: Christmas Snapshots in the Psalms

  1. A Psalm of Lament (vv. 1-21)
  2. A Psalm of Hope and Praise (vv. 22-31)
  3. Jesus and Psalm 22 (Matthew 27:35-46)

Conclusion: The raw but necessary side of Christmas.

Posted on December 1, 2013 and filed under Christmas Snapshots.

The Irreducible Theme of the Church's Proclamation

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Titus 2:11-15
Series: The Irreducible Gospel

It’s all about grace!

  1. Receiving Christ’s gracious gift enables believers to have:
    1. past salvation from the penalty of sin (v. 11).
      John 3:18, Ephesians 2:4-5
    2. present salvation from the power of sin (vv. 12, 14).
      Romans 6:11-14, Galatians 5:16
    3. future salvation from the presence of sin (v. 13).
      1 John 3:2, Revelation 21:3-4
  2. Celebrating the Lord's Supper leads believers to be:
    1. humbled in remembering the past—that Jesus gave His life for us.
      Ephesians 1:7-8, 13-14
    2. thankful for our union now with Christ and fellow believers.
      Ephesians 4:1-5
    3. emboldened to share the Good News as we anticipate the future coming of Christ.
      1 Corinthians 11:26, Revelation 19:6-9
Posted on July 28, 2013 and filed under The Irreducible Gospel.

The Irreducible Limits of Tolerance in the Church

Speaker: Pastor Tim Bruns
Scripture: Titus 1:10-16
Series: The Irreducible Gospel

  1. Someone has crossed over the line of truth and tolerance when:
    1. they disregard authority.
      Titus 1:10
    2. they teach what is contrary to truth.
      Titus 1:11, 14; 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:6-7; 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1
    3. the fruit of their ministry is spiritual disaster.
      Titus 1:11, 16; 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 2:23
  2. Someone has rightly set boundaries for truth and tolerance when they:
    1. define and defend their core beliefs.
      Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:10b-11, 6:11; Hebrews 5:14-6:1a; Ephesians 4:11-14
    2. correctly confront false teaching.
      Titus 1:11, 13; 3:10; 1 Timothy 1:18-19, 6:12; Romans 16:17; 2 Timothy 2:25-26; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
    3. encourage and extend grace toward others.
      Jude 17-23
Posted on July 21, 2013 and filed under The Irreducible Gospel.