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: John 11:33-35


You have been suppressing such emotions and pressures for many of you working because of your boss and immediate heads. I know that Filipinos are resilient yet bad at handling emotions. For our Nexus, the youth will be starting their classes next month, and many emotions are happening inside them: excitement, anxiety, indifference, fear, joy, and even melancholy. What should we do about our feelings and emotions? I say the best model for us Christians is Christ. Today’s sermon is about the emotional life of Christ.

The full humanity of Christ. Luke 2:39–40 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. He even got hungry during his 40 days of fasting, wherein the devil tempted him to turn the rock into bread (Mt. 4:4). Also, he was thirsty during his journey to the cross, and when he was crucified; he said, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

Main Idea: The Emotions of Christ in John 11:33-35

Let us go back to our central passage in John 11:33-35. I have chosen this passage because it encapsulates three major emotions all human beings experience. These are 1) compassion or mercy, 2) anger, and 3) grief, including sorrow.


The term [embrimaomai] (33, 38) means deeply moved because of the death of his dear friend Lazarus. In verse 35, he joins his friends’ grief and sadness with heartfelt sorrow. More than sadness, it was mixed with anger because of the evil of death—the ultimate enemy of humanity. Adding to this righteous anger is a disappointment because of the loss of trust of his people, friends like Martha, and others there. Hovering all these emotions is love. Let us explore more of these three primary emotions found in our passage to understand more about Christ’s emotional life. For what purpose, you ask? To conform to his likeness (1 Jn 2:6).

Compassion and Mercy – Healing two blind men (Mt 20:30-34) leper cleansed (Mk 1:40-41) “moved with pity” [splanchnizo]; distressed widow (Lk 7:12-13) “he had compassion on her” – a literal translation of feeling something within you, somewhere in your stomach or guts. The peak of his compassionate heart is when he descended to the world and entered history from eternity for us to be redeemed from the bondage of our sins. Christ can forgive all kinds of sins.

Righteous Anger – He flipped the tables out of anger in the temple. Why? It was because of the nature of the temple. “This was the house of God, the one place where sinners could come and offer sacrifices and enjoy fellowship with God, reassurance of his favor and grace,” Dane Ortlund noted. (Angry in front of the Temple – John 2:13-22) He was angry with the Scribes and Pharisees – Matthew 23; Mark 3:5 – “hypocrites, serpents brood of vipers, blind fools.”

It is okay to get angry but do not sin. Psalm 4:4, “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent. Selah.” Likewise, it is stated in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.” Be aware of your anger. Respond righteously.

Grief and Sorrow – Other than Christ crying out loud when Lazarus died in John 11:43, with all the realization that he is the Messiah, he is expected to bear such sorrow. Isaiah 53:4, “Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”

Before his crucifixion and suffering, he had already expressed too much pain and sorrow when he prayed to the Father. He prayed three times repeatedly to the Father. Matthew 26:38 “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’” Then he prayed. At the third time in Luke 22:44, “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Christ experienced genuine emotions. He is truly a human being capable of having feelings and emotions.


  1. Trust Jesus with your emotions.
  2. Conform to his model in handling his emotions.
    1. Be honest. Do not ignore and suppress your emotions.
    2. Do not sin.
  3. Pray with him.


Are you angry today? Take a break and trust God’s righteous anger. Are you anxious and feeling distressed? Jesus is sad and distressed alongside you. Trust Jesus: he knows our emotions well. He sympathizes (Heb 4:15, “15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In that knowledge, release the burden of your offender and breathe again. They do not deserve the gift of your emotions. Rest in Christ. Again, trust Jesus. Dane Ortlund said, “Let Christ’s heart for you not only wash you in his compassion but also assure you of his solidarity in rage against all that distresses you.”


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
August 28, 2022



Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:11-18

Main Idea:

Focusing on verse 11, specifically “just as in fact you are doing.” This means that their church during that time was already “encouraging and building each other up.” A good question may be, “Am I encouraging or building someone up?” “Am I being a source of encouragement?” An excellent way to encourage a dear brother and sister is to show up every Sunday.

In our Fresh Encounter series, we are being encouraged to share our testimonies, teaching us to confess our sins, repent, and embrace restoration. One of the good biblical practices they taught was public confession and repentance (in a small group context).

The Struggle: But there seems to be a struggle. First, we are shy or ashamed of what we have done. Second, unaware of feelings and mix up our intentions; third, we do not see feelings as a signal indicator in order to sustain a relationship (e.g., Feelings are like a fuse; it tells us that there is something wrong with the circuit). Fourth, we repress or suppress and ignore these feelings.

The Means: When the early church was experiencing persecutions, injustices, and oppression, they were not only struggling physically and spiritually but also emotionally, mentally, and holistically. I said “holistically” because our emotions have a physiological aspect. It is what psychologists and medical personnel call “psychosomatic” – a physical symptom caused by an emotional or psychological condition.

The method to control our feelings is to be aware of them and to experience them consciously. Then we can control the behavior flowing from the feelings.

  • Anger – we want to fight physically or verbally (Breathe faster; our heart beats faster; sensation of heat)
  • Fearful – have the desire to run away (The mouth becomes dry; feels cold; palms are sweating
  • Hurt – we withdraw or regress (Crying, expressing pain through tears)
  • Trust – comfortable with someone (Willing to be vulnerable; openness)
  • Love – warm glow in our body (Love is a fulfillment of all these other feelings.)

The Value: The passage encourages and sets a standard for communal accountability. There is a value in sharing our feelings, struggles, and emotions with one another. Read verses 12-18. Deep communication makes our ministry effective because it enables us to deal with our feelings before we attempt to minister to others’ feelings, as stated by G. Niklas.


Apostle Paul today (sermon today) and Apostle Peter last week (sermon last week) show us that emotions, feelings, and mental well-being are essential aspects of a Christian community, both individual and church life. You may ask, “where is Jesus in here?” First, last week, we explored that there is hope in Christ. Christ redeemed these parts of our life as well. Lastly, Christ himself as fully God-Man has heart, soul, and mind (next week’s topic).


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
August 21, 2022



Text: 1 Peter 5:6-11


When God said that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). The principle of this holistic significance of a person’s wholeness is grounded in the biblical meaning of “peace,” in Greek ειρήνη [שָׁלוֹם shalom]. “Peace be with you” also means that “I pray for the completion of your wholeness or achieving the optimal state of your personhood” (John 14:27; 20:21; 2 Peter 1:2).


During the second half of the first century (AD 54-68), the hideous Emperor Nero reigned throughout the Roman Empire including Israel. It was in those years that persecution of Christianity reached its zenith. They even call Nero a prototype of the Anti-Christ. He caused riots and blame it on the Christian community. Thus, punishing them either by feeding them to the lion (1 Peter 5:8) or burning them alive while Nero partakes in his dinner just because he needs light.

Main Idea:

The Problem (Romans 7:14-25)

Even though I appreciate most of the psychological theories like Erikson’s psychosocial development, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, or the cognitive, behavioral, and personality theories, I still believe that Christianity has a greater offer when it comes to our personal development. To elaborate on this point and the gap between psychology and Christianity, first, is on the essence of the soul or spiritual things. The second is on the transcendence or the significance of eternal matters.

First, psychology only caters to the mind (psyche) later understood as the holistic part of a person. This is limited to the material and various immaterial matters of one’s life. Yet, this trying to know oneself through psychoanalysis, behavioral patterns, and archetypal dreams are all limited. Psychology does not see the significance of the soul as coming from someone transcendent and has a goal to be eternal manifesting godliness, righteousness, and holiness. Furthermore, temporal awareness and somewhat solutions do not guarantee that a person will be secure about one’s flourishing life.

Second, transcendence is canceled from the perspective of existentialism and naturalism. This worldview is short-sighted. It only tries to make a person survive life, making them functional in society, without perceiving beyond life. While in Christianity, there is hope, of course, centered in the personhood and work of Christ, where both the assurance of flourishing life in the “here and now”, and the “yet to come” is secured in His promises.

In a word, despite the wisdom that we can gain from psychological facts, they are inadequate. Only a worldview, or faith, that has a transcendence or “seeing beyond” can be truly helpful in one’s life. This faith in Christ is the security that we have. We will know that our brokenness can be restored once again through the powerful work of Christ—his death and resurrection. And we are certain that we will soon embrace the heavenly place where there will be no pain, crying, anxiety, and sorrows.

The Pursuit (1 Peter 5:6-9)

Anxiety, anger, sadness, and depression are part of human feelings and emotions. According to Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology Dan Allender noted that emotions are the messengers of our body. He said, “Emotions are like messengers from the front lines of the battle zone. Our tendency is to kill the messenger. But if we listen carefully, we will learn how to fight the war successfully.” Similar to this statement, Dallas Willard said, “Feelings are good servants, but they are disastrous masters.” (Self-awareness is important)

To make a stronger point, even various bible characters experienced sorrowful moments, deep anxiety, and discouragement.

  • – Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-9)
  • David (Psalm 34:17-18; 42; 88); the weeping prophet (book of Lamentations)
  • Job (book of Job, [Job 1:20-21, 2:8], yet he did not sin (1:22, 2:10)
  • Jonah (Jonah 4); “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
  • The persecuted apostles (Paul: 2 Cor. 11:23-26; Romans 7:14-25)
  • Jesus [embrimaomai] “deeply moved” (John 11:35-38), agony (Luke 22:42), wept (Lk 19:41; Heb 5:7)
With that short biblical survey, we see that emotions are grounded in the creation story of God. In the Genesis account, the image of God has to have an emotional aspect grounded in God’s holy emotions too. All emotions are part of our created nature of us, however, we fall short and because of sin it was marred and corrupted. So what? Humble yourselves; cast all your anxieties on him; be sober-minded; be watchful; resist the devil; firm in your faith. Verse 9, local and universal church are essential in Christian life.


The Promise (1 Peter 5:10-11)

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Our goal is to become whole. To become whole, we must be in Christ and follow Him. Our emotions and thoughts are part of the created image of God in us, however, humanity fell into sin and corrupted these holy emotions. Now, our problem is we confuse ourselves with our reason and emotions. Instead of emotions serving us, they become our masters. Our hope is in Christ, the promise that in Christ, he will restore us, strengthen and establish us today and forever.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
August 14, 2022