Sermons

Carson Long

Carson Long
Role: Pastoral Resident

Latest sermons by this teacher

Christ, the New Covenant, and Better Promises
Sun, Aug 08, 2021
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. - Hebrews 8:13 (ESV) Jeremiah the prophet speaks astounding words to those in exile - there will come a day when God will make a new covenant with his beloved people. When something new comes, the old is obsolete. It is no longer valid or effective. The newness of the new covenant is so astounding and final that it gives us an unwavering hope in the faithfulness of God to save, redeem, transform, and usher us into his eternal presence at the end of this age. Join us this Sunday at 10am either in person or online as we return to our study of Hebrews (Chapter 8) and meditate on the incredible promises of the new covenant, secured for us in Jesus Christ.
Fighting the Spiritual Forces of Evil
Sun, Jul 18, 2021
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:11-12 (ESV) As we continue in our study of the EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 8 tells us, "With God's Word, the Spirit's power, and fervent prayer in Christ's name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil." So often we are prone to the deception that what we see with our physical eyes is all there is. However, the Bible tells us that a great conflict is occurring between God and all who oppose him, both natural and supernatural. The enemy has a plan: "...the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:4) As those who have had the veil removed, we now see the conflict between God and those who oppose him. In this conflict we have a role to play. Now that he has saved us, God has not left us to ourselves. We have been brought into the kingdom of light, the heavenly kingdom that will one day be established on this earth. Until then we are equipped and called to combat the spiritual forces of evil with God's help. We have a great Savior, at the helm, praying for our protection (John 17:15), and He has already won the victory.
Church Ordinances
Sun, Jun 27, 2021
"The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer." EFCA Statement of Faith The Lord Jesus has graciously given us Baptism and the Lord's Supper to practice joyfully until the day of our salvation, when Christ returns. Consider these questions: What does it mean that these ordinances 'visibly and tangibly express the gospel'? How would you define their significance? What might it mean that 'these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer'? Have you repented and put your trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, but have yet to be baptized? Is the meaning of the Lord's Supper a bit fuzzy to you? Join us this Sunday as we solidify our understanding of these ordinances, handed down to us from our Lord Jesus, and may God move us into a greater appreciation for the glorious grace of salvation.
Apostasy and the Perseverance of Faith
Sun, Apr 25, 2021
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:9–12 (ESV) How do you get someone to move forward in life? Leaders, mentors, and parents often are working on a delicate balance of help, encouragement, and punishment. If you help and encourage all the time you risk never showing the danger and difficulty in error and the growth that failure brings. However if you punish and chide all the time, you risk discouragement and bitterness from those under your care. How you figure out the balance is part of the delicate art of leadership. This week we continue in the third warning passage from the writer of Hebrews. He is poking at the recipients to consider their life and pursuit of Christ and he is calling us to consider the same. We want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 6 to prepare your heart and mind.
A Sympathetic High Priest
Sun, Mar 28, 2021
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12–13 (ESV) As a Sunday school kid, we had 'sword drills'. They were the churchy equivalent of a playground game. A group of kids would sit in a row, Bibles at the ready, and a Bible reference would be called out. It would be a race to find it first, then stand up and read it. You had to know your Bible cover to cover, have quick hands, and a sense of the relative placement of the books. Tabs and bookmarks were cheating. Honestly, I was not very good at it and more than a few pages of my Bible were ripped in my failed attempts at speed. The above verses were the inspiration for the title. After all, you want to be quick with a sword. A sword is used to slice and dice. It's not a very comforting image and it's not meant to be. God's Words are true and piercing. They speak truth to us and cut through the darkness even the darkness we try to hide. That's what the law does. The writer of the book of Hebrews wants us to not just know the place and purpose of the law, but something (or someone) who meets that law with a comforting and glorious reality. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 4.
God's Sabbath Rest
Sun, Mar 21, 2021
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9–11 (ESV) I have a confession. I'm bad at resting. I can't sit still. Work and projects are a regular part of life. When the writer of Hebrews begins to talk about rest, I know that I need it but I'm honestly not sure how best to get there. After all the nation of Israel wandered around for 40 years trying to find it. What hope do I have? This week Carson will be opening up Hebrews 4 and we will discover that this rest is not a vacation or some time off or even a Sunday afternoon nap (as great as those are). It's something that is far more important and permanent. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 4 to prepare your heart and mind to find this permanent and ultimate rest.
 The Son of God is Better than the Angels
Sun, Feb 14, 2021
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Hebrews 1:8–9 (ESV) How do you think about the unseen world? I don't just mean germs and viruses. I am talking about the spiritual unseen world. For some we write it off. When we can't see it, we don't think it exists. It might seem mysterious and untestable. For others the spiritual world seems to be everywhere. Both the blessings and difficulties are seen as being affected by these beings. The Bible tells us that what we see is not all there is. There are other beings that God created. It also tells us we need to keep them in the right perspective. This week we continue looking at Hebrews 1. In this chapter the writer asks us to consider the place and purpose of angels against the place of Christ. Take a few minutes before Sunday to read through the passage. It's got a lot of connections to other parts of Scripture.
God's Peace
Sun, Dec 06, 2020
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” -- Luke 2:13–15 (ESV) 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day' is a song adapted from a Henry Longfellow poem. The poem tells of Longfellow's struggles over the death of his wife and war injury of his son. As he sadly ponders those realities, the Christmas bells of the local church ring and remind him of the true peace found at Christmas. What is the source and basis of that peace? Is it just a ceasing of conflict? Is it just a reminder for us to get along with each other? This week we continue our celebration of Advent by considering these angels and the Peace they announce. We will celebrate together around the advent wreath and will sing of the One who is to come.
Continue in the Way of the Lord
Sun, Nov 08, 2020
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:8–9 (ESV) Proverbs 14:12 tells us, "There's a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." This proverb is so striking because it shows how deceptive our perceptions of reality can be. Before believing in Christ, our ways of living led to death and we believed they were life. God is gracious to not only give us eternal life, but he shows us how we are to continue living as we wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue in the way of the Lord, there are various ruts along the way that can keep us joyless, ineffective, and lacking peace. What are the ruts that derail you from continuing in the Lord? Rather than do what seems best to us, we can continue in what we've been told and what we've seen modeled. Paul knows that we will face disunity, disagreements, difficulties, temptations, and worries. He also knows God desires to reform our hearts and minds to make us more like his son. He admonishes us to continue walking in the way of the Lord, instructing us how to relate to one another, what sort of disposition to have, and what life of the mind we should cultivate, so that we live in the abundance of joy and peace that Christ provides for us in his glorious gospel. Will you take a few moments to read Philippians 4:2-9?
Examples of Christ's Humility
Sun, Oct 11, 2020
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. - Philippians 2:25–26 (ESV) I recently learned a new skill. It's one that I have wanted to try for some time, but I've never had the occasion, equipment, and most importantly a teacher. A few weeks ago I tried welding for the first time. I'm not 'laying down dimes' as they say, but I can now stick a couple pieces of metal together in a pretty permanent way. Its fun and a little scary and I won't be leaving the pastorate for a career in fabrication anytime soon, but I would not have even attempted it without teacher (HT: to Ken S!) The Christian life is sort of like welding. You need to get the theology and you need to have some equipment. You also need people that will walk alongside you as you grow. This week in Philippians, we meet a few of those examples for the church at Phillipi - Timothy and Epaphroditus. These men were selflessly serving Paul and ultimately Christ. They were providing flesh and blood examples of what that looked like. This week Carson is opening up Philippians 2:19-30 to us. Will you take a few minutes and read it? Consider those that have provided not only instruction but example to you in your Christian life. What have you learned from them? How have they helped shape your journey?
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