Sermons

Fearless
Sun, Nov 12, 2017
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 2 Timothy 1:6–8 Fear is a crippling enemy. When we look around our world and we fear the threats that seem to be coming to our doorstep. We look inside and we fear our own inadequacies. We spin up scenarios of what might be and fear wells up again. With all of these threats, it seems the best option to take is to retreat. This week, Kevin Mays will be considering with us what it means to be a group of people ‘fearlessly on mission’. This involves us confronting what stands in our way and facing the consequences of what will come.
This is Us
Sun, Nov 05, 2017
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. -- Philippians 1:3-6 (ESV) How do you feel about your spiritual life? I’ve never heard anyone answer this question with a fully positive answer. We might be frustrated with our lack of prayer or bible reading. We recall our failures to speak with grace or to love the unlovely. We run through our minds all the opportunities squandered to communicate the gospel. It’s in those moments I turn to the Philippian 1 verses. In these verses, there is hope in Christ. We are in the midst of His work that He will complete. When I widen my gaze to Hope Church, I’m grateful that these verses don’t just apply to me individually, but corporately. This is God’s church, his bride. He will do His work. He will complete it. This week, I want to take a step back and consider Hope. Who are we? What are we about? What do we believe? If you are new to Hope, my desire is to give you a better understanding about your church. If you have been around Hope for a while, I hope this will re-focus us on our core commitments as a church. This will also give us a chance to consider what is ahead. Plan to be with us.
Beyond the Sacred Secular Divide
Sun, Oct 29, 2017
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.--1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV) Who's the holiest person you can think of (and don’t give the Sunday School answer of "Jesus")? What do they do? Where is the holiest place you can think of? What kind of place is it? In the Medieval world, that was an easy answer. The holy people were the priests and monks. After all, they had given up everything to follow God. And they stood between the common, unholy people and God. And the holy places were churches. In those four walls the sacred work happened. You met God there. But when Luther and the other reformers rediscovered the doctrine of Justification, a different perspective was introduced. Your access to God was not through the priest but directly through Christ. Worship was connected to the community of the church, but not attached to a building. The sacred and the secular were merged. This week, we will close out our Reformation 500 series by looking at how the reformation will help us see all of life as worship, including our churches, occupations, and marriages.
The Theology of Glory vs The Theology of the Cross
Sun, Oct 22, 2017
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. -- 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV) What is your proudest achievement? What would you want to let everyone know about you? Would it be a project you worked on? Or an athletic achievement? Or some problem you solved? Or something you invented? We are taught from a young age to achieve and be proud of it. We wear it as our identity. What if what you were known for was a notorious event? What if instead of pride, your name was associated with shame? How would you feel? This week we continue our series looking into the Reformation through the life and theology of Luther. One of the key ideas he taught was how God was revealed, not what he called the 'theology of glory' but in 'the theology of the cross'. This important distinction changes our perspective on both God and ourselves. We will take a look into 1 Corinthians 1, where Paul lays out a similar explanation of God's plans. Take a look there before Sunday. Luther was far from a perfect man. In fact, many of his attributes and sins are obvious and detestable. I encourage you to look at this thoughtful article about one of the worst issues, his antisemitism.
Sinner and Saint
Sun, Oct 15, 2017
For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. -- Romans 7:22-23 (ESV) Edwin Star famously asked the question in his 1970 lyric ‘War, what is it good for?’ His conclusion was ‘nothing’. Is that how you think of your Christian life? It’s a war which ain’t good for nothin! Maybe you see that war as one with the combating forces outside of you and with the battlefront all around you. Luther and Paul would agree that there is an ongoing war, but it’s not primarily with the culture or the world outside of us, but rather it's within ourselves. This week we will look at the important theological idea that we are at the same time a sinner and a saint. This idea not only reminds us of our true position with God, but also calls us to continue to struggle with our sin while in that position. Plan to be with us. Also, I want to point you to another interesting resource. One of the movements that happened in the Reformation was one of taking theology to the streets. Instead of it being locked in the church the common man needed to have access to the scriptures and then to put feet to it in everyday life. So when Luther’s barber asked for help in his daily prayer, Luther wrote him a letter. Check out his simple way to pray.
Law and Gospel
Sun, Oct 08, 2017
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4(ESV) A few years ago the easiest way to display your Christianity was to wear a rubberized bracelet with the letters WWJD stamped into it. It was meant for people to live constantly with the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ This movement gained momentum, solid millions of bands, and even fostered pop culture reactions. But for all it's good intentions, it had one major flaw. In fact, if it had existed in Martin Luther’s lifetime I think he might have nailed a bracelet to the Wittenberg door next to his 95 Thesis. Know why? Come this Sunday and find out. We will continue our series, Reformation 500, as we examine different portions of Luther’s theology and practice. And if you missed it last week, there are several great books and a couple of audio resources (5 Min in Church History & Here We Stand) to easily learn more about the Reformation.
Just by Faith Alone
Sun, Oct 01, 2017
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17(ESV) You might say that the central question of the reformation is how will we, as sinful creatures, be reconciled with a completely holy God. The medieval answer took the work of Christ and mixed it with our own work to create a rickety bridge back to God. But for those who were honest with themselves, this bridge would not hold the weight of their guilt. Luther was someone plagued by these honest doubts. Even after becoming a monk with doing holy things and regularly confessing his sin, salvation assurance was an elusive truth. Clarity for Luther did not come in a moment. But only as he began to study and teach the Psalms, then Romans, and then Galatians did he begin to uncover a grand truth. It was a truth that freed him from doubt and ushered in an assurance in which he was finally able to rest. What was that truth? This Sunday, we begin our Reformation 500 series. It will be a great look back at some of the key truths & ideas that were taught by Martin Luther and other reformers. I’m praying that this look back into history not only gives you an appreciation for figures of the past, but helps you better to understand the gospel and it's implication today. And in that celebration of the true gospel, we will also be celebrating communion together. This will be a great week to bring a friend. Who will you invite to come along? Don’t forget to check out the other events and needs around Hope in the rest of this Newsletter.
No Other Gospel
Sun, Sep 24, 2017
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.Galatians 1:6-7 (ESV) If you were to pick one book of the Bible that propelled the Reformation forward it would be Galatians. It was a lighting bolt that shot through Martin Luther and the thunder that resulted echoed across Europe. Next week we will begin our series looking into Luther's teachings, but this week you get a preview. We will be joined by a friend, Ryan Haskins. He is the youth pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville. He along with the other church staff podcast and write for Theocast. I want to encourage you to read through the opening chapter of Galatians to prepare your heart and mind.
Grace and Fire - Part 2
Sun, Sep 17, 2017
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! --2 Peter 3:11-12 (ESV) Doctrine is contained in thick, dusty books located in the back of libraries far away from everyday life. It’s great for seminary students and professors but unnecessary for real people. Be honest. Is that how you think of doctrine? My guess is, you wouldn’t pick up a book on doctrine for some light pleasure reading. In the buzz of life it seems pretty distant. But I propose it really is not. In fact, I think everyone is a theologian. And everyone lives by some doctrine, even atheists. This week, we are going to examine the connection between our understanding of the end with our life today. Peter wants us to connect the dots. How we understand the end will change the way we live today. I want to encourage you to read through 2 Peter 3. We will close out our series this week.
Grace and Fire - Part 1
Sun, Sep 10, 2017
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:10(ESV) From the eclipse to the fires to the hurricanes, I’ve heard more theories, ideas, predictions, and fear about the end times then in my recent memory. Some even come with an extra side of bad theology, and others tend to use the Bible more like a Nostradamus prediction. Most severely lack a clear biblical understanding and history, and most betray our American centric perspective. None that I have seen point to a greater Hope. Peter won’t let us maintain such a perspective. In fact, what we are going to look at this week is bigger then America or even the globe. This is truly universal. We will be continuing to look at 2 Peter 3. I want to encourage you to read through the chapter and find what understanding the end produces in the believer.
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