Sermons

Gospel Introductions
Sun, Jan 07, 2018
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 1:7 (ESV) This Sunday we begin the book of Romans. To be honest, I'm both scared and excited. I'm scared because this book stands out among the New Testament books not only because of it's size, but also because of its depth and scope. To tackle something of it's magnitude is scary. I want to get it right. I'm also excited. To hear Paul describe and expound God and His gospel is thrilling. What could be better then to see the grandeur of salvation presented in all it's beauty. I hope you are ready to begin! Take a few minutes before Sunday and slowly read through the first chapter. In these few verses you get a sense of what Paul will be describing and how important and impactful it will be.
Into Eternity
Sun, Dec 31, 2017
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 (ESV) Only 360 shopping days left until Christmas. Wait!?! What!?! We just made it through another holiday season. We can't start talking about the next one. We are still in our holiday haze. We have to have a little time to recover, right? Often when we get by Christmas we feel like it was fun, but it's time to move on. Pull down the tree. Stash the lights. Turn off the Christmas music. If we truly understand the story of Advent, there are some things we can't put away. The child we celebrate in Advent didn't just arrive. He lived, died, rose again, and ascended to heaven and now we await another Advent, but this one will be different. How? This week we finish the Advent story, not by looking back but by looking ahead. Take a few minutes to read through Revelation 21-22 to get a small preview of what is to come.
Into Bethlehem
Sun, Dec 24, 2017
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. -- Jeremiah 31:31–32 (ESV) What are your expectations this Christmas? Whether it is a meal, a gift, an experience, or a magical moment, we tend to have great expectations of what our holiday celebrations will be like. Unfortunately, these expectations are often built on unrealistic desires and when they are not met, we become frustrated, angry, despondent, or depressed. We have learned throughout this Advent season about these promises God has made. We might be tempted to lower our expectations. In an attempt to avoid disappointment, we wonder if these spectacular promises are possible. This doubt is often based not on our understanding of God, but on ourselves. We see our failings easily. We wonder if we will measure up to what God wants. As we continue to explore the Advent promises we find a spectacular truth. The fulfillment of these things rests not on us but on God. But how? And who?
Into Jerusalem
Sun, Dec 17, 2017
Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” -- 2 Samuel 7:1–3 (ESV) 'Christmas is about family.' There are even songs about it, about how everyone needs to go home for the holidays. One of the things that most of us look forward to is time together with those we love. In the story of redemption, family is an important, vital part. God's promises were made to a man who turned into a nation. But God's promises also came to another man whose family would lead that nation, David. This week we take another step in seeing this unfolding plan. Who would be God's forever king? What line would he be from? How would he rule forever?
On Sinai
Sun, Dec 10, 2017
And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. -- Deuteronomy 5:1–3 (ESV) Some people have funny 'rules' or traditions for Christmas. I knew one family that made all their kids brush their teeth and then drink a full glass of orange juice before they could open presents. Other have rules how, when, and in what order gifts are to be opened. These traditions can be fun and form memories. They don't really serve a moral purpose. God's rules are different. God set out how His creation was to relate to Him and to one another. He did that through laying out the law. These provide us a standard by which we can see what is right, what is wrong, and how we fail on both ends. This week we take another step in understanding God's redemptive storyline and how it reveals the place and person of Christ as we draw near to Advent. This is a great time to invite someone to join us, and don't forget to check out the rest of the newsletter to get the info on all the upcoming celebrations and meetings!
Out of Ur
Sun, Dec 03, 2017
And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. -- Genesis 15:4–6 (ESV) Just 24 days till Christmas. The countdown is on. Like no other time of the year, there is an anticipation built into the season. We all have different traditions that build toward Christmas Day. As the first presents appear under the tree, the kids know it’s getting closer. We put out stockings in expectancy. We might open advent calendars, counting down the days. We light candles on wreaths to mark the weeks. But what if, in the words of C. S. Lewis, ‘it was always winter, but never Christmas.’? Would our hope be dispelled? Would our high hopes build or eventually wane? This week we look at God making the promise of a son, an heir, a child of promise. However, that promise would take years to arrive and even in its arrival it would be threatened. We will take a look at the next development in God’s unfolding redemptive plan by looking at a childless couple and God’s big promise to them.
In The Garden
Sun, Nov 26, 2017
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. - Romans 5:12–13 (ESV) Christmas time is nostalgic. We pull out decorations from years gone by. We listen to music from people and genres from years ago. We eat those secret family recipes. We rehearse memories of days gone by. One of the anchors of this nostalgia is the story of Christmas. We think back to shepherds, mangers, and a child, but in fact the story of Advent is much, much older than we usually think. This Advent season we will look back, way back. We will consider the full story of Advent that points much farther then most think. This week we will look back to the very beginning, not just to Mary, Joseph, or even John the Baptist, but back to the very beginning, the beginning of everything. In this beginning we will discover why Advent was even necessary. This is a great time to invite a friend to join you.
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.
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