07-15-18 Sermon - The Plumb Line of Judgment

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There are consequences to sin. And although in the present temporal age the consequences of our sin can seem arbitrary, Amos prophesied that God's judgment will ultimately be totally fair and impartial. He was given a vision of the Lord holding a plumb line and holding it in the midst of his people. The wall that is not true and upright will need to be torn down and then restored. According to Amos, Israel was going to be punished by Assyrian invaders. It was too late to avoid that fate, but it was not too late for repentance. The Lord would spare a remnant to be rebuilt and restored. God's Word serves as a plumb line held against our lives. The bad news is that we are all out of plumb. The good news is that he promises restoration to all who repent and cling to his promise of restoration.

Rise and Shine

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Jesus encounters a desperate father whose 12 year old daughter is at the point of death. Jesus agrees to accompany Jairus and to lay his hands on Jairus' daughter. But en route a woman who had suffered for 12 years with a hemorrhage of blood reaches out to touch Jesus' garments believing that with the touch she would be made well. And so Jesus first heals the woman with a chronic illness before he ends up calling the young girl to awake from death, for she in fact had died before Jesus got to her home. Interestingly, Jesus treats death as though it was a mere matter of falling asleep. And he overcomes death simply by calling the deceased to rise, just as any parent would rouse their child in the morning to "rise and shine." 

06-17-2018 Sermon - To His Disciples He Explains Everything

Jesus' parables, instead of being short stories easily understood, have often seemed like a riddle or a difficult puzzle to try to put together. The key to understanding them is first to understand that we are blind to their meaning when we rely on our own wisdom and when we trust our own prejudiced anticipation for the ways things work. And secondly, and most importantly, the key is seeing in Jesus God at work for our salvation. He is the key. And to his disciples Jesus explains everything.

06-10-2018 Sermon - Mortal Combat with the Serpent

 Photo by  David Clode  on  Unsplash

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Just as the consequences of their disobedience were being spelled out to Adam and Eve, the promise of redemption was also being declared by our Lord. Their salvation would involve God's defeat of the evil one through a most unusual means. All we are told in Genesis 3 is that it would involved the seed of the woman crushing the head of the serpent. But we have received the Gospel Accounts, so we know how this earliest of all proclamations of the Gospel took shape and was fulfilled...

06-03-2018 Sermon - Our Keeping the Sabbath

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"Ah, do we have to go to church?" Children ask this of their parents. And in families that faithfully attend weekly worship services, some parents will respond, "Yes you have to go to church. This family honors the Sabbath Day." Well, just what does it mean to "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy." It seems Jesus had a different idea than many of the religious leaders of his day. And most Christians do not gather on the 7th day of the week, but on the first. What does keeping the Sabbath mean for Christians?

05-27-2018 Sermon - The Thrice Holy God

The great and eloquent prophet, Isaiah, had what was at first a terrifying encounter with the Holy One of Israel in a vision. He knew he would be a goner. Not only was the Lord high and lifted up, but his holiness was too much to look upon. And this Holy One was named by the celestial beings who stood guard, as being thrice holy. Fortunately, Isaiah not only encountered a holy God, but he also encountered a merciful God as well.

05-20-2018 Sermon - Breath of New Life

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There is a connection between breath and life. And although we do not see the air we breath, when it becomes a mighty wind we hear the sound of it. Did you know the same word in Greek is translated into English, either as breath, wind, or Spirit? This gives great significance to what happened as the Holy Spirit was first poured out on believers following Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension...

05-06-2018 Sermon - The Gospel For All Nations

 Photo by  Kyle Glenn  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

God's love for people, and grand plan to redeem humanity, was from the beginning for all nations. But the descendants of Abraham often forgot that they were "chosen" by God to be a blessing to all nations. And even the Apostles and disciples of Christ had to be miraculously directed in order to minister the Gospel beyond the circumcised believers. And we need to be reminded that we ourselves have been blessed in order to be a blessing. For truly there is a wideness in God's mercy. The Gospel is for all peoples!

04-15-2018 Sermon - Salvation In No One Else

 Photo by  Daniel Burka  on  Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Burka on Unsplash

The followers of Jesus were different people after Jesus' death and resurrection. And when Peter and John were dragged before the religious authorities, the very one's responsible for Jesus' crucifixion, they proclaimed with boldness that a lame man's healing was in the name of Jesus and that one could find salvation in Jesus' name. In fact, there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we may be saved...

04-08-2018 Sermon - Christ's Victory Over Sin

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When Jesus appears to his gathered disciples on that first Easter Evening, not only were they surprised that his resurrected body was suddenly in the room with them, but after that initial shock they were also happily surprised by his disposition toward them. After all, they had all miserably failed him just days before. Now he appears with kind greetings of mercy, "Peace be with you." And he makes it clear that his death and resurrection have to do with the forgiveness of sins that you and I so desperately need.

04-01-2018 Sermon – The Mountain of Our Salvation

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The Prophet Isaiah paints an imaginative picture of the hope that lies before God's people. It is a picture of the Mountain of the Lord where there is endless feasting and celebrating, where death is swallowed up, and where tears are wiped away. The Resurrection of our Lord that we celebrate today, and in fact celebrate each and every Lord's Day, establishes that Isaiah's picture of our future with the Lord is sure and certain. It is a hope that already energizes us in this present age.

03-30-2018 Sermon – The Seven Last Words

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The four Gospel Accounts record seven statements that Jesus uttered from the Cross. They are known as the Seven Last Words. Each of the statements provide opportunities to meditate on the surprising victory our Lord won on what would have otherwise seemed like a dismal defeat. There is a reason it is called "Good Friday". For on the Cross our Lord defeats sin, death, and the devil.

03-18-2018 Sermon - The New Testament in Christ's Blood

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The Sovereign of the Universe has allowed us to be cut in on a covenant (contract or agreement) in which he binds himself to some incredible promises to us, lists some conditions or terms of the contract, and then seals the deal with blood. In our Ezekiel reading we will learn of a New Covenant or Testament that the Lord God will make. This New Covenant supersedes the Old or First Covenant and takes into account human failure to live up to the conditions of the Covenant. This covenant also is sealed with blood and is connected to a meal...

03-04-2018 Sermon - More to Be Desired than Gold!

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The Psalmist could speak of God's rules as being more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. The idea of rules, regulations, and commandments does not always register very high on most of our excitement registers. So how is it that when we become full of faith, we do not only value the awesome promises in Scripture, but we also come to value and savor our Lord's commandments?

02-18-18 Sermon - Being Steadfast Under Trial

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James tells us that the person who remains steadfast under trial will receive the crown of life. But who among us hasn't crumbled under pressure and succumbed to the temptations of the devil. This morning we will together discover the good news for receiving this crown in spite of our many failings, while at the same time actually becoming more steadfast under trial.