Sermons

Law and Gospel - The Law for the legalist
Sun, Sep 23, 2018
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. - Romans 7:4 (ESV) Christians think of themselves as 'law & order' folks. Not the show as much as the attitude. Generally, politically we are for an active civil government that legislates and enforces order. We are positive about the police and we see the system set up as generally just. Anarchy is something to be feared and stopped. So when we come to Romans 7, you might be taken back because Paul's descriptions of the law aren't very positive. He's not talking about man's laws or governmental justice, but God's law. In fact this law doesn't prevent sin but promotes it. This week we head into this critical chapter in Romans. It's a chapter that brings with it a lot of debate. But also one that I think resonates deeply in the heart of every sinner-saint.
Slaves of God
Sun, Sep 16, 2018
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. - Romans 6:16–18 (ESV) One of Martin Luther's most notable quotes is 'Love God and sin boldly.' This has been used from several corners to accuse him of blatant disregard for God's commands. After all he was a nun-marrying, nail-driving monk with a mallet. When you hear someone talk about God's overwhelming grace, how do you respond? Do you hope that there is some balance given to our obligation? If it doesn't come do you feel a need to fill it in? This week we will continue studying the relationship of God's saving work and our obedience. Last week we learned the vital role that our union with Christ plays. This week we look at a similar question from a different vantage point. If we talk about grace too much, won't it unleash people to sin? Read through Romans 6:15-23 to see Paul's answer.
United to Christ - Part 2
Sun, Sep 09, 2018
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. - Romans 6:9–11 (ESV) We doubt if anybody can really change. This doubt is driven not by what we know about others but what we know about ourselves. It seems as much as we try, resolve, plan, and seek help, change is an elusive character. What Christianity offers however is not resolve or self-control leading to change, but a change that is occasioned outside of us and without us. In fact, in one way you could say it's change that is imposed on us. This week we will examine how what Christ has done for us goes beyond just our right standing with God but all the way to our holiness before Him. We are both justified and sanctified because we are united with Christ. How does this union fundamentally change our connection to sin? When that change happens what does it mean? Take some time to read through Romans 6:1-14, and come ready to rest in what Christ has done.
United to Christ - Part 1
Sun, Sep 02, 2018
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:3–4 (ESV) How do you grow in your Christian walk? To answer that question many of us will run to habit, methods, studies, lists, and actions. We see our Christian life as something that comes out of us. When we falter, fail, don't achieve, or just sin we feel like a failure and sense the displeasure of God. We go to the Christian book store and look through the aisles and aisles of books of how to be a better mom or dad, husband or wife, or student or teacher, or employee or boss, or scientist or astronaut (Yes, the how to be a Christian astronaut book exists). All the while, I wonder if we truly understand what sanctification is, where it comes from, and who achieves it. If you have thought up to this point in Romans, I hope he gets to something practical soon then you are in luck because this week we start looking at Romans 6-7 which I have entitled "War". It's a look into how this salvation by faith meets us in our Christian walk. I want to encourage you to read through Romans 6-7. Where do you see yourself in these chapters? Also don't forget to read through the rest of the email. There are several things coming up at Hope including an invitation if you are new, Community group signups, Women's Bible study starting, and an opportunity to run with some friends. How do you grow in your Christian walk? To answer that question many of use will run to habits, methods, studies, lists, and actions. We see our Christian life as something that comes out of us. When we falter, fail, don't achieve, or just sin we feel like a failure and sense the displeasure of God. We go to the Christian book store and look through the aisles and aisles of books of how to be a better mom or dad, husband or wife, student or teacher, employee or boss, scientist or astronaut (Yes, the how to be Christian astronaut book really exists). And we keep piling up the things we should do and our walks become more and more complicated and less and less realistic. I wonder if I truly understand what sanctification is, where it comes from, and who achieved it. Do you? If you have thought up to this point in Romans, 'I hope he gets to something practical soon!' then you are in luck. Because this week we start looking at Romans 6-7 which I have entitled War. It's a look into how this salvation by faith meets us in our Christian walk. I want to encourage you to read through Romans 6-7. Where do you see yourself in these chapters?
John 17
Sun, Aug 26, 2018
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." - John 17:20–21 (ESV) I sometimes wonder what would happen if the Apostle Paul stepped out of a time machine. What would he think of the church culture? Would he be encouraged or discouraged? What New Testament letter would he demand we go read? Would he wonder how we went from THE church at Corinth or Thessalonica to 6 Baptist, the Roman Catholic church, a couple Methodist, some Church of Christ, a few non-denominational gatherings and more? This week I am grateful to have my longtime friend, David Thew come and open the Word for us. I've known David for almost 13 years. He currently is a pastor as Summit Crossing across town. He will be opening up an important passage from Jesus himself that calls us to consider what it is and what it means for us to be Christians in our city that are united. What draws us together? What might separate us? Read through John 17 to prepare your heart and mind to receive.
Portraits of the Church
Sun, Aug 19, 2018
For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. - 1 Corinthians 3:9 (ESV) There is a new classification of folks that have been identified in the church world - the de-churched. These are people who have been to church, maybe were even a part, but now have left. Asking these folks to return is a big ask. Often this is because they have been hurt by something or someone. Or they look at the news and read about the scandals. Or they didn't see anything of value in giving of their time, energy, and money to an organization. Maybe you aren't de-churched, but you might be 'under-churched'. You wonder if it is worth it. Or you feel a tinge of burnout or relational strain. This week I want to talk to you. We are going to take a break before we start the next section of Romans. We are going to open up to 1 Corinthians 3. In this passage, Paul lays out multiple portraits of the church that puts the church in a different light. Take a few minutes to read it through.
Death in Adam - Life in Christ - Part 2
Sun, Aug 12, 2018
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. --- Romans 5:18–19 (ESV) You can say that the story of the Bible is the story of two people. These two representatives are the head of two humanities, but they are not the same story. They go in opposite, unequal directions. Their stories define our story. This week we take a second look at Romans 5:12-21. This is a dense but important look at who represents us and how we are represented. One thing that has stood out to me this week as I've studied the passage is the incongruous nature between what Adam did and what Christ accomplished. I want to encourage you to read through this passage to prepare your heart and mind to explore it.
Death in Adam - Life in Christ - Part 1
Sun, Aug 05, 2018
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.--- Romans 5:17–18 (ESV) Personal responsibility is a cornerstone of most of our thinking. 'I am responsible for me. I determine my success or failure. I am the captain of my own ship.' We might even be frustrated with those that blame a system for their failure. But what if there is corporate responsibility and guilt that we all share? What if our success or our righteousness doesn't depend on you? What if our fate is tied to our heritage? This week we head back into the book of Romans. In Romans 5:12-24, Paul wants us to understand that all of humanity is classified or related to two individuals. Your connection to which individual determines your relationship to God. It's been a while since we have been in Romans so I encourage you to look back through the opening chapters and slow down to read through Chapter 5. I'm looking forward to jumping back in.
A Crossroads
Sun, Jul 29, 2018
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! --- Psalm 110:1–2 (ESV) Our culture has a very limited picture of Jesus, doesn't it? He's the guy in a stain glass window. He's the one with a lamb around his shoulders. He's the kind teacher with a child sitting on his lap. He's the wandering peasant telling interesting moral stories to those around him. How well do these cultural versions explain the Christ of the scriptures? This week we close out our summer series Songs of the Savior by looking at one of the most quoted and referred to Psalms in the New Testament, Psalm 110. This is a Psalm that Jesus himself uses to point to his nature. It's a Psalm that the writer of Hebrews quotes to teach about Jesus' position. The picture that it paints throws a rock through most of the culture's stain glass window pictures of Jesus. Take a few minutes and read it through before Sunday.
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