Text: Job 2:5-10


Young people, specifically (but maybe some adults would know this as well), have you ever felt annoyed or confused when your professor suddenly told you that you’ll have a surprise quiz today? Okay, take out ¼ piece of paper. Back then, we were all in a rush looking for someone with a paper.

I believe that no one likes surprise testing or quizzes in this room.

Background: Share the narrative

Satan’s (Hasatan) goal is for Job to deny God (be unfaithful and curse him) through trials and suffering. Declaration: God is sovereign and He loves us. We must believe that nothing reaches us without first passing through His hands.

  1. External (1:13-19)
    1. Sons and daughters (13-15)
    2. Sheep and servants (16)
    3. Camels and servants (17)
    4. Sons and daughters (18-19)

In an instant, all Job’s properties, possessions, and loved ones, were all gone.

  1. Internal/ Personal
    1. Job’s health
    2. His feelings and emotions
    3. His wife
    4. Scrape with a pottery


Understanding these Adversaries

It is important to note here that when Job was asking and praying to God to deliver him from trials and sufferings, God did not take away immediately but was dealing with him through people and even Hasatan. God will not only limit our trials and problems, He will also draw us deeper into relationship with Himself. I am reminded of the following:

  • Daniel’s Friends in the fire/ fiery furnace (the King praised their God, and promoted them; Daniel 3:24-25) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – King Nebuchadnezzar
  • Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:23, 26) – King Darius and Cyrus
  • Jonah in the stomach
  • Paul in the prison
  • Jesus on the cross: A type of Christ (Father, father why have you forsaken me?)

People around us: Job’s friends were in the wrong even though their intention was good. They have given their advice from their words and not from God. They have condemned Job but God acknowledged Job.

Job passed the test, he was found faithful because of God’s anointing. God foreknew his faithfulness and rewarded him twofold from what he had before. Do not be like Job’s friends who depended on their own wisdom, capabilities, experience, or skill, but rather acknowledge that God can bring out good from something bad.

God’s power can draw good out of any evil. Interestingly, with all these events in the life of Job, God was not a bystander, was not someone from afar. He was near, he was involved in his safety, and God was with him and in control.

  • Satan’s power has limits. Trials have endings. But God’s sovereign power is everlasting. Believe that God is working something in your life right now.
    • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
  • The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.
  • God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him. (Job 42:10, 16-17)

Job Worship God and did Not Sin (1:20, 22; 2:10)

Trials and Sufferings are there to lead us to worship. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees. Trust God even when we fail to comprehend why we are suffering.

Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.”

May we all be found faithful like Job in the midst of our trials and sufferings. Let me end again with what Job told his wife, “Should we only expect good things from God and not bad ones?”


  1. “How are you responding in the midst of your circumstance or situation?”
  2. Are you trusting Him or are you frantically looking for a way out of the difficulty without discovering what He wants you to learn?


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | September 24, 2023



Text: Ephesians 4:28-32

Introduction: We live in a society that embraces instant gratification. “Instant gratification can also refer to the act of receiving a reward without having to wait.” Many of us want to skip the line (fastfood), escape the process (pain), we are in a rush, are impatient, and just want instant relief.

And applied in the Christian life, we expect ourselves and even the people surrounding us to be instantly mature, understanding, perfect, and transformed. Today’s reality was also the reality of the NT.

Background: After Paul insisting on unity in church (4:1-16), he went further for the maturity of the church (4:17-27). Paul’s concern was not just unity but also maturity. As I was studying this passage carefully, I came to the conclusion that Unity marries Maturity; or simply, unity and maturity are inseparable (4:13).

Main Idea: But today’s sermon will focus on the goal of unity and maturity, that is, having a transformed life. This transformation of life is greatly based on what Christ had done on the cross and not on what humanity can do for themselves (Read verses 7, 21, 32).

However, many of us thought that after praying the “sinner’s prayer” it is already done. You are already a Christian and can go on with your former life. This is a false doctrine called “easy believism.” God calls not only for a change in our lives but transformation through a journey called “process.”

What is the process based on Ephesians 4? Examining verse 28 first.

  1. Changed Person – “sudden, concrete and defined; external influences” – justification
    1. “Thief must steal no more”
    2. “no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths”
    3. Desire to become an engineer
    4. “Put off your old self”
    5. Patience, humility, and forgiven
  2. Transformation Process – “incremental, 1% is still progress” – sanctification
    1. “must work, or study”
    2. “only helpful for building up others”
    3. Study engineering
    4. “Put on your new self”
    5. Long-suffering, conflicts, trials, and brokenness (31)
  3. Transformed Person – “influencing change, from within, recreating, reinventing” – restored image of God – Christ-exemplifying
    1. “sharing with those in need”
    2. “so others will benefit” for edification
    3. Build and invent new engineering things
    4. “for we are one” unity
    5. Gracious and forgiving others (32)

The “process” is part of God’s plan for us. We encounter this every day in our lives. We are in the process of waiting for the second coming of Christ. We are in the process of healing our generational and cultural trauma. Transformation does not come instantaneously; it goes through the process.

Likewise, Romans 8:29 – 30 –> Justification > sanctification > glorification


Changed Person

Transformation Process

Transformed Person

v. 28: Anyone who has been stealing (sin) must steal no longer (change)

but must work, doing something useful with their own hands

that they may have something to share with those in need.
v. 29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths

but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs

that it may benefit those who listen. (edification)
vv. 22-25: to put off your old self

put on the new self

for we are all members of one body. (unity)

For those God foreknew he also predestined; And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified

to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it (v. 7);
just as in Christ God forgave you. (32)


How can we sustain this transformation? The answer is “In Jesus” Philippians 4:19, “19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | September 17, 2023




Text: Luke 14:25-33

Watch the Sermon (FB Live)

Objective: To encourage the congregation to consider what it’s going to cost them to follow Christ; to implore those who are on the fence to go all-in for Christ; and to remind them that they are not alone in their walk of faith- they are surrounded by other believers and Christ himself will give them strength to be his disciples.

4 Headings:

  1. It will cost you everything
  2. You are either in Christ or you are out of Christ
  3. You are not alone in your walk
  4. Today is the day to follow him


Luke 14:25

  • Jesus gaining popularity
  • Crowds attracted for the wrong reasons:
    • To see miracles, to hear wisdom, to go where everyone else is going to
  • Jesus concerned with quality of faith not quantity of followers

Luke 14:26 

  • First term and condition of discipleship
  • Sounds like discouragement (CF Luke 9:57-62)
  • Jesus wants followers to consider the cost
  • Setting terms and conditions
  • Physical v. Spiritual following
  • “Hate”
    • Semitic hyperbole
    • Jesus not telling us to break love commandments
    • Means to love less (CF Gen 29:30-31 and Matthew 10:37)
    • Love for Jesus greater than dearest things
    • Love for others considered “hate”
  • Emphasize “cannot”

Luke 14:27

  • Second term and condition of discipleship
  •  “cross” slightly different meaning
  • Today it has a positive connotation, Christ, Christianity, means by which we are saved
  • To 1st-century people “cross” was the most brutal form of execution (Eg. Matthew 16:21-22)
  • Equivalent of “take up your electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection, firing squad”
  • What did it mean for the 1st-century person?
    • Philip Ryken quote: “Even before Jesus was crucified, they would have recognized the cross as a symbol of rejection, humiliation, and excruciating pain. Crucifixion was the most gruesome form of execution in the Roman world, a death penalty reserved for traitors and criminals, and slaves. To see a man carrying his cross was to see a man going to die the worst of all possible deaths.
    • Taking up your cross is a form of self-denial (CF Luke 9:23)
      • Emphasize “daily”
    • Discipleship and sanctification (CF Romans 8:12 and Ephesians 4:22)

Luke 14:28-30 

  • Illustration to show what it will cost to follow Jesus
    • Vacation illustration
    • Illustration of our inadequacy to reach heaven on our own
    • Not enough good works to gain salvation
    • We must look to Christ (CF Matthew 11:28-30)

Luke 14: 31-32

  • Illustration to show what it will cost NOT to follow Jesus
  • Alexander the Great example
  • The weaker king is the believer prior to coming to Christ
    • Our sins placed us at enmity with God (CF Ephesians 2:1-3)
  • The stronger king is God
    • He demands justice
  • “A great way off” is time we have until judgment day
  • Do you have what it takes to stand against God?
    • If not we must surrender and ask for terms of peace: the gospel

Luke 14:33

  • Third term and condition of discipleship
  • Jesus requires us to give up all that we have
    • Does not mean we cannot have anything
    • It means that if Christ calls us to give up the things in our possession, we must willingly do so for his sake


  • Terms of discipleship:
  1. Love Christ more than anything else in the world
  2. Carry our cross daily
  3. Renounce all that we have for Christ
  • Jesus savior AND lord
  • Exhortation:
  • Be all-in for Christ 
    • Matthew 6:24
  • Follow Christ today 
    • Calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John (Matthew 4:19-22, Luke 5:11)
    • Calling of Matthew (Matthew 9:9, Luke 5:27-28)
  • What do we gain from denying self and following Jesus with all our love for Him?
    • Freedom, joy, life, closer more intimate relationship with Jesus (Jeremiah 33:3)


Bro. Joe Recto
UCBC New Jersey
September 10, 2023

Watch the Sermon (FB Live)




Text: Matthew 22:1-14

Introduction: RSVP in Heaven? Revelation 21:27, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Context: Religious leaders, people, and everyone (from ESV Global Study Bible)

  • 21:43 The leaders have failed to carry out their obligations to God both in their personal lives and in leading the nation of Israel. Therefore their privileged role is being taken away and given to a people producing its fruits. The church will be a new “people” consisting of both Jews and Gentiles.
  • 22:1–14 The parable of the wedding feast describes the judgment of irresponsible religious leaders.

Main Idea: Explain the parable.

  • Grace No. 1 – chosen to be invited (v. 3); not coming is already a direct insult and a challenge to his authority.
    • Humanity’s response: not attending
  • Grace No. 2 – get an invitation again (v. 4); rejected and killed his servants (vv. 5-6); deserving a punishment (v. 7)
    • Humanity’s response: rebellious, corrupted, and violent
  • Grace No. 3 – invited everyone (vv. 9-10); many came and filled the wedding feast
    • Humanity’s response: entitlement, pride, ignorance, and indifference
  • Grace No. 4 – called him a friend (v. 12); proper clothing was given to the guests; punishment (v. 13)
    • Galatians 3:26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    • Joseph’s family (Gen. 45:22); Mordecai (Esther 6:8–9); and future wedding in Rev. 19:6-9


  • Invitation to God’s kingdom of heaven signifies the reward of partaking in the wedding feast. (Rev. 19:6-9)
  • Punishment is death (v. 7) and sentenced to the outer darkness with there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (v. 13)
  • King = God
  • Son = Jesus
  • Servants = Prophets of God/ his messengers/ further, the disciples
  • Invited guests = Israelites, Jewish people, and the religious leaders
  • Extended invitation = Gentiles, the church, and Christians


Verse 14, the elect = invited ones. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Ephesians 1; Romans 8)

  • Matthew 11:27, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
  • How do we know? Those who believe (Ephesians 1)

Grace comes to them in the form of a feast. They rejected it. Likewise, grace always comes to us—we hear sermons on grace nearly every Sunday and yet the rest of the week we try to earn God’s favor. God’s grace comes to us free of charge, no strings attached, on the house.

“You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.” – Gordon MacDonald


Have you responded to the invite?

  • Not yet? Accept God’s grace and be saved.
    • Mark 16:16, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
  • Yes, but not sure.
    • 2 Corinthians 13:5, Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
  • Yes, 100%.
    • Obey verse 9 in our sermon’s passage.
      • Matthew 22:9, Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | September 3, 2023




Text: Matthew 14:22-33


Introduction: Have you tried riding the Kingda Ka at Six Flags? It was challenging and out of adventurous spirit that you wanted to try it. I haven’t tried it but I have a similar experience in the Philippines’ Star City and Enchanted Kingdom, but for sure, this one is way more.

Context: This event is after the beheading of John the Baptist and Feeding of the Five Thousand.

Reasons why Peter sank:

  1. Unbelief caused by exhaustion – verse 25-26
  2. Fear – verse 30
  3. Looking for other things; Doubt – verse 31

Negative fear and doubt can paralyze you from your reality. It distracts you from achieving your main purpose in life. It demoralizes you. It removes you from your chances to grow. When you start doubting and letting fear (and anxiety) rule over your life, then you start losing yourself, isolating, and thinking that everyone is your enemy including yourself (paranoia).

Ask God to help you. Pray the prayer of Peter, “Lord, help me.” That is the shortest prayer in the Bible. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ still listened and responded to it by saving us and pulling us up from fear and doubt.

Promises and lessons we can take:

  1. When fear is overcoming your heart, and feeling in doubt, hold his hand and trust him. – v31
    1. “It is I” = [ego eime], the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14); Jesus’ nature as God relieves us from fear and doubt.
      1. 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
    2. Testing and Trials: “And this brings us to the second significant point of this miracle. Jesus always comes to us in the storms of life. This is reminiscent of the words of God to Isaiah: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2).”
    3. Worship is the proper response when you encounter God’s overwhelming grace. “And this is what worship is, acknowledging who God is and praising Him both for who He is and for what He has done.” – verse 33
      1. “The Son of God” = Once in the Gospel of Matthew, one of the biggest reasons why the disciples were convinced that Jesus is God. – at first, they doubted Jesus.


In verse 25, Jesus was near to the disciples. Take heart, Christ is nearby—he is Immanuel, God with Us. This truth tells us that we can always ask for his help, run to him, and trust him.


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | August 27, 2023



Text: Psalm 42:1-11

Introduction: The Sons of Korah – from the lineage of Levites, the priests, and people who were assigned to the duty of Tabernacle, Temple, and this context accompanying King David during a war. As part of the military, they also offered music and choir for the people of David.

THE BAD NEWS – Three Hardships in this Life.

Verses 1-4: Emptiness – we feel empty, a never-ending void that none can satisfy // the deer pants for flowing water signifies a person who longs to worship God, seek his presence, and his Word // this thirst is quenched through public worship and prayer // he was away and longed for church

Verses 5-8: Depression – Even children of God struggle with anxiety and depression // to the point of being drowned //Though counseling, psychotherapy, and medicines help us overcome depression, it is through God in prayer, singing, and worship that we find complete healing.

Verses 9-11: Rejection – #CancelCulture // they mock my God because of my wounds, pain, and sufferings; remember Job’s wife and friends // They ask for evidence about my God.

Nevertheless, the Choirmaster in verses 5 and 11 (even 43:5), calls us to put our hope in God.

Illustration: When Christian and Pliable fell on the Slough of Despond, Help helped Christian.

THE GOOD NEWS –  John 4:13-14, “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

These Hardships Draw God Near: Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

These Hardships have a Purpose: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

These Hardships have Limitations:  2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Conclusion: Do Not Lose Heart! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

The same composer of this wonderful song wrote the famous line that we sing, entitled “Still.” In Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…”


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | August 20, 2023




Text: 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Introduction: Parents are their children’s teachers, guides, and life-long sojourners.

Context: Discipleship is about caring for and guiding the flock of sheep. Paul was instructing the church of Corinth about their Christian living. It was through his disciple, Timothy, that the Corinthian church learned more about the Gospel of Christ. There are three elements of discipleship: the discipler, the disciple, and the didactic.

  • The Discipler (Apostle Paul) – verse 15-16

Paul, as a spiritual parent (father), is different from the common “guardian” or tutor during ancient times. “Guardians” are the ones who were either educated servants or a freedman guiding the children of their masters, or showing them how to go to school, the marketplace, etc.

Paul was a caring parent to the church at Corinth. Someone who provides, secures, guides, disciplines if necessary, and teaches them the Word of God.

Both faithfulness in Jesus Christ and loves the church are requirements for a disciple. If you love Jesus, you love whom He loves–the church.

  • The Disciple (Timothy) – verse 17

A Biblical Definition of a Disciple

A disciple is one who follows Christ, trusting in him alone for salvation, worshiping his person, loving him with whole heart, imitating his life, and obeying his teaching, living dependently by abiding in Christ, walking in the Holy Spirit, meditating on the word of God, engaging in communion (prayer), and partnering with the body of Christ (local church) resulting in the transformation of the mind, the heart, and the life and leads others to do the same.” by Dr. David Talley

  • The Didactic (the Lesson/ the Gospel of Christ/ Word of God) – verse 17b

UCBC Disciples Path – from Lifeway

    1. The Beginning: First Steps for New Disciples
    2. The Way: Discovering Christ’s Path of Discipleship
    3. The Call: Counting the Cost of Following Christ
    4. The Truth: Engaging the Foundations of the Faith
    5. The Life: Living the Spiritual Disciplines
    6. The Mission: Joining God in His Work


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | August 13, 2023



Text: 1 John 2:4-6

Text: 1 John 2:4-6 – To know that we are in Christ

4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Introduction: Each person here in this church has a future destiny, either heaven or hell. The evidence that you’ll be in heaven is if you are a child of God, or in another term, a Sheep of the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ. My question for you today is, “Are you a sheep or a goat?” We will go back to this later.

God’s Will is for us to be like Christ (1 John 2:4-6):

Many think that it is okay to remain a “baby Christian” for their whole lifetime. Spiritual growth by conforming to the likeness of Christ is not an optional extra for Christians. Growth is the evidence of life. If a tree is alive, it grows. If an animal is alive, it grows. If a Christian is spiritually, he or she must grow. If there is an absence of growth, then you are dead. “Being alive means growing, and growing means increasing and advancing.” 2 Corinthians 10:15; Eph 4:15; Col 1:10; 1 Thess 1:3; 1 Peter 2:2.

The way that led to the cross. Believers need not and cannot repeat Christ’s unique saving death, but they can mirror his faith, love, piety, obedience, and self-sacrifice, and this pattern of life will give greater assurance “that we are in him”

God’s Plan is for us to belong in Church Discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20):

The problem today is that churches are busier with church activities and fellowship without any emphasis on disciple-making. Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a Christian martyr during the Nazi period—said that a church without discipleship is problematic; it expresses cheap grace.

Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.

Discipleship means adherence to Christ and imitating Christ (Ephesians 5:1). Discipleship is not just another department in the church. Everyone is called to disciple someone.  “We treat the church as a welcoming TV show instead of a family that you are a part of.” – JD Greear

Meaning of “Disciple,” Greek translation μαθητεύω (mathéteuó) – 250 times, means to be the student or follower of someone (Christ); to follow his precepts and instruction; to be like the teacher. (Luke 6:40)

What is discipleship? The goal is to lead others to be like Christ. Why? Christ commanded us to go and make disciples. However, our mistake is that we make it “coming” instead of “going” (Matt. 28:19-20). We need to meet where people are. Another mistake is that we professionalize it. We only let church leaders or gifted people do discipleship. How did Paul discipled Timothy (2 Timothy 3:10-11)? How did Jesus disciple the Twelve Apostles? The answer is holistic—heart, mind, physical, and spiritual. In today’s terms, it is called mentoring.

God’s Desire is for us to be part of His Flock, His sheep: John 10:25-27, Sheep illustration:

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

By doing so, God separates us from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33). Explain why they are being separated.

  • Full of pride
  • Unforgiving and Unrighteous
  • Zero Evangelism
  • Despises Discipleship

Conclusion: Show the Video about Sheep being called by the Shepherd. Go back to the Introduction.


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey
August 6, 2023



Text: Colossians 1:24-29

Context: Paul wrote this letter to the Colossian church. Colossae is in the southwest of modern-day Turkey. Paul was writing the letter as a prisoner (house arrest) in Rome. He did not church plant the church in Colossae; it was Epaphras who planted the church there. In Paul’s third missionary journey, he stayed in Ephesus for three years, and it was there that Epaphras (Epaphroditus) heard about the gospel and was discipled by Paul. In return, when Paul was imprisoned, Epaphras assisted him and told him about the updates in Colossae. Though everyone seems to be growing in their church, it is sad that false teaching is creeping into their community and households. Hence, Paul writes a letter to equip them.

  • Verses 24-25 speak about the suffering of Paul every time he proclaims the gospel of Christ.
  • Verses 26-27 The mystery of the gospel is that the Good News is not only for the Jews but also for all people, the Gentiles. Take note that Colossae is outside the region of Israel but most likely has a strong population of Jewish people.

Two Kinds of Revelation:

    • General/ Natural – human conscience, nature/ creation, morality, and common grace
    • Special – the Living Word (Jesus) through the Written Word (Bible) – salvific in nature

Paul’s Dream/ Goal for the Colossian Christians: “perfect/ complete/ mature” (Colossians 4:12)
Paul’s prayer to the church is to “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him” (1:9-10)

  • Verse 28 It was not enough for Paul to see people make a profession of faith in Christ, as important as this is. Teleios could be translated as “perfect,” but full perfection will be attained only when Christ returns and believers are fully transformed. Until that time, the maturity Christians are to seek stands in contrast with the immaturity of infancy (cf. Eph. 4:14). Paul ministers so that every person will be complete in Christ.
  • Verse 29 Paul struggles—with all his energy—to help Christians grow and mature in Christ.

Three Dreams of UCBC:

  1. UCBC’s growth and maturity in Christ
  2.  Develop mature youth and YAs
  3. Everyone learns how to disciple
  • Verse 7 – “learn” [manthanō] links to “disciple” [mathētēs]; more than merely listening to a simple gospel presentation, Paul makes it clear that the gospel involves systematic instruction in the faith and in how to live as a Christian.

Conclusion: We Have a Dream

We have a dream that one day, we will see everyone forgiving one another.
A day when everyone is busy with discipling over watching movies.
A day of being busy reaching out to others for Christ over busy reaching the American dream.
A day when our kids, our youth, are passionately studying the Word of God over getting exhausted playing games and entertaining themselves.
A day when we can encourage one another, pray for one another, and live out the Christian walk over dealing with some petty issues of disagreements and conflicts.
I pray for this dream that everyone will grow and mature in Christ.


Rev. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
July 30, 2023


References: ESV Study Bible; Photo by Gelgas Airlangga: https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-of-sprout-401213/




Text: Romans 8:1-17

Introduction: The Great Shift? Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, the Apostles, Augustine, Luther, Pacman, you and me, and so on. There ought to be a transformation in someone’s life when they encounter God’s glorious grace.  How come others do not? They live a life of fake, class A, Christianity

Transition: Condemned cars/ abandoned cars, after 48 hours/ three days/ 60 days, will be given a Junk title and is now for auction or thrown to the junkshop to be crashed.

  • Condemned means “officially declared unfit for use.”

Promise (vv 1-4)

  • But the promise of God in Christ is that there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ. (v1)

Problem (vv 5-8)

  • Verse 6, “To set the mind on the flesh means to think continually about and constantly desire the things characteristic of fallen, sinful human nature, that is, to think just the way the unbelieving world thinks, emphasizing what it thinks important, pursuing what it pursues, in disregard of God’s will.”
  • Verse 7, “does not submit to God’s law”

Provision (9-10)

  • The Spirit of God lives in you (v9). The Spirit gives life (v10).


  • Verse 13, “you put to death” is an active role in mortifying and battling sinful habits.
  • Verse 14, children of God – access to the Father
  • Verse 17, “suffering with Christ,” is a witness and a sign that you are a child of God.

Conclusion: “Now!” – verse 1 – Pursuing the Dream to Share this Life-giving Grace


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
July 23, 2023


Photo by Zafar Mishkat : https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-street-industry-dust-10403314/