June 18, 2017: Graduating the School of Grace

Hebrews series message 19

Text: Hebrews 10:19-25

This week we celebrate our graduates, high school and beyond. All schoolwork begins with a set of fundamentals, a foundation on which everything else builds. Once the foundation is established then more advanced topics can be introduced leading the student to greater maturity until they graduate. This week the writer of Hebrews wraps up the foundation and moves his audience into some more advanced coursework, except instead of books and papers we will be dealing with our relationships with God and one another.

The Foundational Studies – Jesus, the New and Living Way, Our Great High Priest

Advanced Lab 1 – Drawing Near in Faith

Advanced Lab 2 – Holding Fast to Hope

Advanced Lab 3 – Stirring One Another Up to Love Well

June 4, 2017: Final and Forever

Hebrews series message 18

Text: Hebrews 10:1-18

It is finished! We'll spend eternity in gratitude for Jesus' work on the cross. The implications of His last words sum up nicely the thrust of this passage. Forgiveness is free, final and forever. The old way of doing things only served as a reminder of our fallenness, the new way actually solves the problem. Our Savior is glorious and the salvation He brings is great. This is such an encouraging passage. 

May 28, 2017: What's in it for Me?

Hebrews series message 17

Text: Hebrews 9

In this message and the next, we'll cover ground in Hebrews 9 & 10. A big theme for this installment is God's holiness - under the law (and under grace) most everything is cleansed with blood, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. God's holiness and my sin are that serious - the Son of God offered Himself. What flows from His sacrifice for me is that He purchases eternal redemption for us and also cleanses our conscience so we can (joyfully) serve Him. That's amazing! 

May 21, 2017: What's in a Promise

Hebrews series message 16

Text: Hebrews 8

I had a brother talk to me after the sermon last week, he just can't believe it's really true that he's forgiven. He's waiting for God to punish him for his misdeeds and mistakes. He's not alone. Grace is overwhelming and hard to fully embrace. Yet it's true. It's real. And it's ridiculously freeing. Hebrews 8 is the hinge upon which most all of the NT turns. It's the New Covenant: not just a new high priest but a whole new construct that blows the other one away. And replaces it. It's rooted in the Old Testament. It's promised. Now it's come. It explains the Gospel and John 3:16 makes complete sense because of it. Please pray with me that that many will gain a renewed sense of freedom and live in the power and simplicity that the Gospel brings, not to mention develop an enthusiasm for engaging others with the truth. 

May 14, 2017: Slaying Strongholds

Text: II Corinthians 10:3-5

Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Past trauma. Family of origin. It is so easy to be a pit dweller, wallow in sin, live in defeat. God calls us to more, Jesus didn't die so we could live as if nothing's happened. The Gospel writes a different script for our lives that is fueled by all the powerful truths we've been learning in Hebrews; the Son of God bleeding and interceding for us are no small items. God's called us to victory and constantly reminds us in the NT of who we are in Christ and to live accordingly, we are to renew our minds daily with His truth and walk in the newness of life. In this message we'll define what a stronghold is, and how we overcome them. It's a way of applying what we're learning in Hebrews and is helpful for us as we parent (Mother's Day) because strongholds affect how we minister to others. 

May 7 2017: The Lion Roars 2

Hebrews series message 15

Text: Hebrews 7:11-28

Last week we gave an overview of Hebrews 7, this week we'll drill deeper on some key truths. Such rich, fertile soil of Gospel basics and comfort. Key truths we'll cover: Jesus' indestructible life, Jesus intercession for believers, and the attainment of perfection. We'll also trace the Lion's roar from Judah, as presented in the Hebrew Scriptures. All of this, in the context of "draw near to God". So, same text as last week, just drilling deeper on some key (AWESOME) truths. 

April 30, 2017: The Lion Roars

Hebrews series message 14

Text: Hebrews 7:11-28

Hebrews 7-10 is fertile soil, rich in Gospel comfort, encouragement, and perspective. I'll probably give two Sundays to the remainder of this chapter. We'll rehearse Yom Kippur, an annual bloody mess as the high priest dared to stand before God on behalf of sinful people. A Jew may see no need for things to change, but there is one single solitary utterance in the Hebrew Scriptures which set change in motion - something bigger, something better.

April 23, 2017: Jesus and Melchizedek

Hebrews series message 13

Text: Hebrews 7:1-10

Melchizedek is a mysterious character in the Old Testament who has an important meeting with Abraham. The author of Hebrews references this event in order to lead us to a greater understanding of Jesus. Sunday, we will flesh out the importance of Jesus being both King and Priest as well as what it meant to the Jews that He is better than Abraham. Essentially, an understanding of Melchizedek drives us to a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Key points: Jesus is better as our priest and king, and, Jesus is better than our family heritage.

April 16, 2017: They Weren't Expecting This

Hebrews series message 12

Text: Hebrews 6:19-20

Jesus' followers did not expect the cross, and neither His followers nor his enemies had any idea how stupendous His resurrection would be. We will look at the historicity of the resurrection and encourage ourselves in the hope that has entered behind the curtain and is an anchor for our soul.

April 9, 2017: Hold Fast!

Hebrews series message 11

Text: Hebrews 6:13-18

Our author exhorted us to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end. He takes a page from the Jewish playbook by highlighting Abraham, who waited patiently for the promise. The two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, give us every reason to hold fast to the hope set before us. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ stand as wonderful reminders of God's  grace and faithfulness. 

April 2, 2017: Danger!

Hebrews series message 10

Text: Hebrews 6:1-12

This text is a continuation of last week's theme and title, "Press on!". This week we also highlight the danger of not doing so. This is not an easy passage to definitively nail down, although the basic thrust seems clear enough. The congregation needs to press on and not fall away as the Israelites did in the wilderness, not having entered God's rest. One's assurance of salvation is grounded in obedience and living faith ("faith without works is dead"). If an unbeliever spurns the Gospel and does not embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, there is no "Plan B" - Jesus is the only way, and He's not going back to the cross to repeat what can never be improved upon! My goal will be to give a careful and thoughtful analysis of the passage, recognizing that there are many points of divergence by godly expositors, but to let the Lord use His Word as He wills - perhaps to both believers and unbelievers. The doctrine of eternal security to the true believer will not suffer loss in this sermon. 

March 26, 2017: Press On!

Hebrews series message 10

Text: Hebrews 6:1-12

This text is a continuation of last week's theme and title, "Press on!". This week we also highlight the danger of not doing so. This is not an easy passage to definitively nail down, although the basic thrust seems clear enough. The congregation needs to press on and not fall away as the Israelites did in the wilderness, not having entered God's rest. One's assurance of salvation is grounded in obedience and living faith ("faith without works is dead"). If an unbeliever spurns the Gospel and does not embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, there is no "Plan B" - Jesus is the only way, and He's not going back to the cross to repeat what can never be improved upon! My goal will be to give a careful and thoughtful analysis of the passage, recognizing that there are many points of divergence by godly expositors, but to let the Lord use His Word as He wills - perhaps to both believers and unbelievers. The doctrine of eternal security to the true believer will not suffer loss in this sermon. 

March 19, 2017: Standing in the Gap

Hebrews series message 9

Text: Hebrews 5:1-10

We're heading into one of my favorite sections of Scripture! Takes us all the way through chapter ten. Jesus, our Great High Priest. Here he lists four characteristics of a High Priest: chosen from the people, called by God, sympathizes with those he represents, and ministers sacrifices. Jesus does all this, and more. He's superior. He's awesome. It leads up to a critical truth: He gives eternal salvation. Keep that in mind when we hit chapter six ;-)

March 12, 2017: Our Great High Priest

Hebrews series message 8

Text: Hebrews 4:14-16

Last week was a really important message in this series. What is the rest that God offers, and what does it look like? It is to cease from our works and efforts, bow the knee to Christ and receive the gift of salvation. It's all grace, through faith and not of works. Looking back, God demonstrated this by resting on the seventh day ("ceasing from his activity"). Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weak and heavy leaden...and I will give you rest.". But we can't let this precious gift pass us by. 

Now, he implores us to hold fast to our confession. He begins an in depth explanation of Jesus Christ, our great high priest, the implications of which are varied and also wondrous for us. We'll begin tying in OT teachings on the high priest and holy of holies and such. Though Jesus suffered and died for us, He lives to make intercession for us in heaven. It's all just so awesome. 

Key concepts are boldness and confidence in approaching His throne to find mercy, grace and help when we need it the most. 

 

March 5, 2017: Seal the Deal!

Hebrews series message 7

Text: Hebrews 4:1-13

Last Sunday and this Sunday are powerful motivations towards evangelism. In Sunday's passage we are implored to make sure we enter into God's rest (salvation). There was an entire generation who died in the wilderness without entering the promised land. Joshua led the next generation into the promised land but Jesus is better than Joshua because the physical land was a type of a spiritual reality. Even though the Israelites entered the earthly Canaan, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God: salvation. Our author devotes no less than two chapters to this crucial decision before us all and reminds us that the very Word which calls us to salvation is alive and active and convicts us of our need for a Savior. 

February 26, 2017: "Can You Hear Me Now?"

Hebrews series message 6

Text: Hebrews 3:7-9

Last Sunday we started Hebrews 3. This week, we'll unpack the rest of the chapter: key concepts to think about include God's voicetoday, hardened hearts, wilderness, deceitfulness of sin, and unbelief. It's not light reading, but this passage has a powerful message that we all do well to heed. 

February 19, 2017: Consider Jesus

Hebrews series message 5

Text: Hebrews 3:1-4

This passage starts out with "Consider Jesus..." or, "Set your thoughts on Jesus". It's another powerful apologetic for the superiority of Christ (this time, over Moses). As "holy brothers" we'll consider Jesus' marks, message, MO, and mandate. 

 

February 12, 2017: For Those Running

Text: Various Scriptures

I've been wanting to speak to the refugee crisis for a while. It's in the news, in our news feeds, and a hot topic with the current administration. It's also not a new problem. This is not a political activist message but one which answers the questions: What is God's heart for refugees and What might my response be? We'll look at selected verses and focus on the account of Ruth. Local opportunities to serve will be given. 

February 5, 2017: Our Stupendous Savior

Hebrews series message 4

Text: Hebrews 2:11-18

Hebrews 1 is a tour de force in establishing the deity of the Son. Hebrews 2 is the flip side of that argument. You're wearing sandals and you look like me, yet you uphold the cosmos by your own power? The Son is 100% human as well. Imagine - He had to put His trust in God. That's not easy, but He did it. Can't get much more human than that. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be fully human? So He could redeem every square inch of my heart. Three specific reasons, actually: so He could reconcile me to God through His death, so He could destroy the devil and my fear of death, and so He stand before God as my faithful high priest. He is better than the angels and the prophets, but He fully shares my humanity. 

So wondrous and so integral to my salvation.