Sermons

Reformation 500

Reformation 500
Oct 2017
We are going to learn about how a Monk with a mallet began a movement to recover the gospel. We will be looking at the theology and scripture that drove Luther throughout the Reformation. And to get a better understanding of the events and history surrounding Luther’s life, we will be showing the Luther movie on the big screen on Sunday, Oct 22nd at 6:00 pm. Watch for more details to come!

Sermons in this series

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.
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