Sermons

The Gospel on the Move

The Gospel on the Move
Apr 2016 - Apr 2017
Have you ever had post-holiday let down? The holiday arrives in a flurry of activity and excitement. Then it’s gone. And the next day comes. We get back into our day-to-day routines and life continues to plod on. From a Christian standpoint, it would be easy for us to feel that way about Easter. We are reminded of the horror of Good Friday and the power of Resurrection Sunday, but then Monday comes. It would be easy to abandon the joy of the Resurrection as it fades into just another holiday. But the truth is the resurrection changed everything on that day and for everyday afterwards. So, in one sense, we come together every Sunday to be pointed back to that truth. Even for the disciples, in those days following the resurrection, this truth changed everything.

Sermons in this series

Overcoming Missional Fear
Sun, Jan 22, 2017
Duration:49 mins
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. -1 Cor 2:3-5 Why don’t you share your faith? The predominant answer I hear to that question is fear. It shows up in different ways. We fear how people will view us. We fear we may not be able to answer a question. We fear we may break a relationship. We fear we won’t know what to say. We fear we will look foolish. Generally we are told to just overcome it and get out there. Go do it! I mean, look at the apostles. If they ever felt like us, then the gospel wouldn’t have spread. And then I read Acts. Paul was a strong, brave man. He boldly proclaimed the gospel. BUT, he was also afraid. This week we will see Paul planting a church in Corinth. But he did so in a fog of fear. If you experienced fear in evangelism, this week is for you. Take some time to read through Acts 18. See if you can find Paul’s display of fear.
Mission Methodology
Sun, Jan 15, 2017
Duration:1 hr 6 mins
So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. - Acts 17:22-23 I’m an Alabama football fan. And I’m a Christian. But I have to admit, this one left me a little confused. Coming home in traffic the other day, I stopped behind a van. Emblazoned across the back window was a bumper sticker. It read ‘Jesus Saves’. I’ve seen that before, but this one was a little different. The ‘A’ in saves was obviously a scripted Alabama logo. I wasn’t sure what the message was. How does Alabama football connect to Jesus? What kind of salvation are we talking about? And for that matter who was Jesus being represented as? There is some talk within the Christian world about the method of evangelism. Is there a difference? Does it matter as long as the gospel gets out there? This week as we look at Acts 17, I want to take a look at three different cities where Paul preached. How did Paul communicate the gospel? How does that help us? Take some time and read through the chapter.
Defining The Mission
Sun, Jan 08, 2017
Duration:53 mins
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:9-10 I hate telemarketers. I’ve done everything I can think of to eliminate their calls, but they still seem to sneak through. My least favorite type of phone sales is the one that comes to the church. A photo directory, a new gadget, a comedy group, a hot new study; I’ve received calls for all of them and more. It seems that ‘new’ ‘hot’ ‘improved’ and ‘with more power’ are not just adjectives for soap boxes but for every new strategy and gimmick for churches too. There is a place for change and innovation in the life of the church, but what doesn’t change is the mission of the church. The church exists to point people toward Christ. We are here not just to make converts but to walk alongside each other in this journey. Are you on-board? Well, this week we get to see how Christianity went from a few scared followers after the crucifixion to a world-altering movement. We step back into this story in Acts 16. I want to encourage you to read Acts 15-16 before Sunday to get the context. And plan to bring someone along with you. It will be a great time together as we see the Gospel-on-the-Move.
Defining Christianity - Part 2
Sun, Nov 13, 2016
Duration:46 mins
The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. (Acts 15:6-7 ESV) Some church meetings are over the color of the carpet, the budget or officers. Those are the ones that tend to get a lot of the bad press, especially when things go bad. We all know about ‘that church’ that split over the color of the carpet. However, some church meetings are vitally important and come with long lasting consequences. Acts 15 describes such a gathering. Last week we laid out the nature of the conflict. This week we want to lay out how it was resolved. The breach between the Jews and Gentiles would define the ongoing course of the church. It would solidify the understanding of the gospel. This week we lay out the witnesses, reasons, and conclusions reached in that counsel. If you have ever wondered how we went from Judaism, the temple, and sacrifices to Christianity, churches, and communion, this is a sermon for you.
Defining Christianity - Part 1
Sun, Nov 06, 2016
Duration:51 mins
But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2 ESV) Christians are good people. Christians are people that keep the 10 commandments. Christians are folks that love God and love their neighbor. Christians are people that go to church. Christians are individuals that are good citizens. Christians are Bible people. Christians are people that do the right thing. How do these descriptions sit with you? Are they accurate? Are they complete? How would you describe a Christian? This week Luke relays the events at a critical moment in the history of the early church. In Acts 15 the question of what it meant to follow Christ was on the table. What were the qualifications? Did the path to Christ go through Judaism? Did following Him mean keeping the Law? Luke outlines the first church counsel where this critical issue was decided. You might think these issues have long been settled but our quandary over those opening questions in the first paragraph might demonstrate otherwise. Take some time to read through Acts 15.
Simple Christianity
Sun, Oct 30, 2016
Duration:56 mins
When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. (Acts 14:21-23 ESV) Progress = complication. That’s how I feel about our world. We live in a time where things are amazing! Technology has enabled amazing things in travel, in information, in medicine, in education, in 'you name it'. But to be honest, sometimes I day-dream about going back to simpler times, becoming a kid again with less complications. Unfortunately, I think we often treat the Christian life the same way. We think that progress = complication. A deeper spiritual life means discovering secret paths to growth. Or we read books that tell us specifically how to pray, read, parent, live, etc. And after awhile we get tired, frustrated, and then just overwhelmed. We feel like a failure. But is that the Christian life? This week, we take another look at Paul & Barnabas’ first missionary journey. As they continue on their adventure, I want us to discover the simple Christian life they taught. Take some time to read through Acts 13-14. Also, I want to encourage you to invite someone. Or if you haven’t seen someone at church in a while, why not give them a call, write a note, or email them.
Everyday Missionaries
Sun, Oct 23, 2016
Duration:52 mins
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3 ESV) If you grew up in the church, like me, a missionary visit meant cool things from faraway place, slideshows, stories of adventure, and massive amounts of guilt to-go. I remember one missionary weekend when a large snake skin was rolled down the aisle and I also got to shoot a poison dart blowgun. To be honest, the next week of ‘normal’ church was a bit of a let down. With those types of experiences we tend to think of missionaries as slightly awkward people that go to faraway places to speak in another language and share the gospel with people who have never heard it. With that kind of thinking, I can understand why there is a disconnect when they say that we are all missionaries. This week we will continue to explore the book of Acts in our series, Gospel on the Move. We will see what many call the first missionary journey of Paul's, in Acts 13-14. Take some time to read through this section. And take some time to think about where today, you might be a missionary, too.
Fighting God
Sun, Oct 16, 2016
Duration:57 mins
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. . . So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. (Acts 12:1-5 ESV) Let’s be honest. Most of us are pessimist. Our outlook on the future is bleaker then our faded memories of the past. We sometimes then mask our fear with escapism, “God come and get us out of here!” And in moments of honesty we look around and wonder what is going on. Has God gone on vacation? Are we being judged? Did something slip by Him? This week in Acts we will witness the final curtain call for Peter. He has been the predominate figure throughout the first half of this book. But now through miraculous circumstances, he will exit. But as he does, we get to see a glimpse of who is really in charge, in both difficulties and triumphs. Take a few minutes to read through Acts 12. It’s an important and steadying reminder in this season of uncertainty. Then plan to join us on Sunday.
Forgotten Heroes
Sun, Oct 09, 2016
Duration:46 mins
Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:36-37 ESV) Most of us want to be the superstar. We want to be famous. We want the adulation and notoriety. If we are trying to be pious we might fain humility but we would really like it if people whispered our name as we came in the room. The danger of this mindset is that, either overtly or secretly, we foster a wrong perception of ourselves and others. And even worse, we minimize who God has made us to be. This week I want to tell you about a man named Joseph. (Not Jesus’ earthly dad). He’s better known by his nickname, Barnabas. He was pivotal in the development of the early church. But in contrast to Peter or Paul, he often seems to have worked in the background. To prep your heart and mind to worship together, would you take some time to prayerfully read through Acts 11. It begins with Peter’s mission report about the Gentiles, but our focus will be on the latter half of that chapter.
A Bacon Wrapped Gospel
Sun, Oct 02, 2016
Duration:49 mins
In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”(Acts 10:12-14 ESV) With the receipt nervously rustling through my fingers, I waited for my number to be declared across the loudspeaker. As it was called out, I felt that I was instantly the winner of the day. I grabbed the brown paper sack that was slowly becoming transparent, as the grease in its contents seeped through. Then as I dug through the fries, revealing the treasure of my Lil Bacon Cheeseburger - All The Way, my mouth began to water. I thought I heard a heavenly chorus. I peeled back the foil to reveal it’s goodness. As I bowed my head, I uttered the words, ‘God, in this moment I supremely thank you for the New Covenant and my participation in it! Amen’ After that narrative, two things are probably happening. First, you're hungry, (so treat yourself today!) Second, you are trying to figure out what in the world my 5 Guys restaurant experience has to do with the New Covenant. To figure that out, you need to be there on Sunday! We will continue to work our way through the book of Acts, but if you want to take a few guesses, read through Acts 10 before Sunday.
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