Sermons

What is the Gospel?
Wed, Feb 07, 2018
Do you know what the message of the gospel is? Gain some clarity before we apply this message to who we are.
Wrath Revealed
Sun, Feb 04, 2018
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. - Romans 1:18–19 (ESV) You go to see the doctor. Over the course of the last few months you have been plagued with chronic stomach issues. Some days are better, but most end in pain and nausea. Alongside these symptoms, you have a pulsing headache most of the time. Your feet seem to go numb occasionally. As you describe your symptoms, the doctor nods. As you finish, he makes a few notes. Without looking up he says, 'Well, I think you should take some Pepto for your stomach. Tylenol is good for headaches, and I would get some 'Support Socks' that promote better blood flow. I hope you feel better!' With that he turns and heads out of the room. My guess is before you leave the parking lot you would be on the phone looking for a second opinion because he treated the symptoms, but he did nothing to get at the root of the problem. Unfortunately, when it comes to a proper theological diagnosis for what ails the human soul we tend to treat the symptoms. What we see and feel is what we go after. Without ever addressing the core issue. Paul is not satisfied with such a surface diagnosis. The next several chapters layout for us the depth of our problem.
Unashamed
Sun, Jan 28, 2018
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” -- Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) Have you ever been ashamed of your faith? Maybe not outright shame, but maybe just a bit of hiding? Unwilling to mention it or make it an issue? Have you hoped that someone didn't bring up religion so you that you weren't obligated to enter the conversation? Did you feel guilty afterwards? We might be tempted to see this text as Paul's bold denunciation of us. The loud, ranting apologist telling us scrubs to get it together, but I believe that would be a mischaracterization. This declaration acknowledges the difficulty not with our feelings but with bold truth of the gospel. A gospel that justifies sinners and makes no sense to the wise. It calls us not to look at ourselves, but to the outrageous claims of the gospel to find pride.
The Gospel for Christians
Sun, Jan 14, 2018
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. -- Romans 1:11–12 (ESV) We often think of the gospel as something we need to share with unbelievers. It is the message through which they find peace with God. It's the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and the implication and application of His actions. This is the message that unbelievers need. But what about Christians? They already know and believe this message. What further relevance could it be to them? Of course there is a need to know it to tell others, but is there more? In the opening of Romans, Paul shares his desire for these Christians to not only know this message for regeneration but also for ongoing transformation. He is excited to share with them this gift both via letter and in person. Do you see the gospel as something that can continue to transform you?
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!
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