On September 2nd Southside Bible Fellowship is launching a new 12-part sermon series entitled, “God Is Closer Than You Think.” The purpose is to unpack some basic yet essential doctrines of the Christian faith in a way that will promote the deeper connection and closeness with God that we believe every human heart longs for.
There are a few different reasons for this series. First, some of us are new to the Christian faith and have never been exposed to a broad overview of essential doctrine. Secondly, some of us have been Christians for a long time and while we have pieces of the puzzle in place, there are still some gaps, not knowing what some basic terms mean or why they are so important. Thirdly, many of us come from a Roman Catholic background and are unclear about some of the less obvious distinctives. And lastly, there are some “seeker” types who are curious about Christianity. Our hope is that God will be pleased to use this series to bring clarity and understanding to those in all of these categories — and through that clarity, empower and enrich our relationship with God and one another.
We will be using the book “Christian Beliefs” by Wayne Grudem. It’s a slim, readable, and practical companion guide for the series (and for our Sunday school classes and small groups). The book will be available in our lobby on Sunday mornings and is also available on christianbook.com and amazon.com.
The series will be begin on Sept 2nd and conclude the Sunday before Thanksgiving (Nov 18th). Here is the schedule:
- Sept 2 – What is Man? (Our Longing for God) [Gregg Caruso earned a MA in Leadership from Fuller Seminary and has been in pastoral ministry for 32 years. Gregg is currently the Intentional Interim Pastor at SBF.]
- Sept 9 — What is God like? [Gregg Caruso]
- Sept 16 – What is the Trinity? [Dr. Jeff Arthurs is Professor of Preaching and Communication and Chair of Practical Theology at Gordon Conwell-Seminary]
- Sept 23 – What is the Bible? [JT Holderman recently earned an M.Div at Princeton Theological Seminary, and is pursuing a Th.M at Gordon-Conwell Seminary this year. JT was awarded The John T. Galloway Jr. Prize for “Excellence in Expository Preaching” by the Princeton Seminary Faculty]
- Sept 30 – What is Prayer? [JT Holderman]
- Oct 7 – What is Sin? [Gregg Caruso]
- Oct 14 – Who is Christ? [Gregg Caruso]
- Oct 21 – What does in mean to become a Christian? [Dr. Jeff Arthurs]
- Oct 28 – What is the Atonement? [JT Holderman]
- Nov 4 – What are Justification and Adoption? [Gregg Caruso]
- Nov 11 – What are Sanctification and Perseverance? [Gregg]
- Nov 18 – What is the Church?[JT Holderman]
 There are 20 chapters, each with three study questions at the end. Sunday school classes or small groups could study the sermon topic before or after the Sunday it is taught on – or, study alternate chapters.