September 9, 2018: Faithful God, Triumphant Hope

Text: 2 Samuel 7:11-16

We resume our focus on the resurrection. My goal has been to show how the truth of the resurrection is woven deeply into the fabric of Scripture, not just a Christian invention drawn up around campfire that Paul later made into a religion. The resurrection of Jesus is of first importance to us and yields incredible hope, comfort and power. We'll look at a little talked about promise that is called by some the "theological highlight of the Old Testament". The Davidic Covenant contains a staggering promise which is unconditional and appears dramatically in the New Testament. How is this connected to the resurrection? A King can't reign if He is dead. The New Testament is clear: Jesus is the firstborn of the dead, the firstborn of the church, and the firstborn among many brothers in eternity. Because of his physical resurrection, to include a resurrected and glorified body, we will enjoy the same. All because of grace. 

August 26, 2018: Firstborn!

Text: Romans 8:29

The term firstborn is a fascinating word study, particularly in the NT. Jesus is the firstborn of creation, of the dead, and of the new order, which he purchased with His own blood. Jesus being the firstborn of many brothers is the powerful result of God's unswerving commitment to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. It yields strong Christian comfort and encouragement and it's something I don't hear many talking about. We definitely need to understand it and receive it now, during this challenging time for us all.

August 19, 2018: Our Risen Lord

Text: Hebrews 7:15-28

What does the resurrection mean for the believer? It means that our living Savior continues His work of intercession on our behalf. He does more than the old testament High Priest ever could, and on so many levels. He is bigger and better for us. We need to preach these truths to ourselves every single day.

Our resurrected Lord:

1) Speaks a better word than our past, our failures and our infirmities

2) Speaks a stronger word than our adversary

3) Speaks a better word than our own condemning thoughts of self-defeat and               condemnation 

August 12, 2018: The Resurrection Factor

I plan on spending some weeks on the topic of the resurrection. Many people, such as myself, have heard about it since they were a kid, making it easy to lose the "wow" factor. Many also do not know how the resurrection is intrinsically connected to so many areas of theology and, hence, our Christian life. So, I want to 'ramp us up' for the new ministry year with a healthy dose of the resurrection. My focus in this message will be to establish that Jesus really did actually die - we need a resurrection. No resuscitation or substitution (i.e., Judas) option for us. As well, the unbelievably believable record before us of the resurrection. 

August 5, 2018: That's a Wrap

Philippians series message 21

Text: Philippians 4:14-23

We'll wrap up Philippians this Sunday. I'm struck by how, in his personal remarks, Paul conveys remarkable kingdom principles - very important and highly applicable: church partnership, acceptable sacrifice, and God's rich and sufficient supply. 

July 22, 2018: Context Matters!

Philippians series message 20

Text: Philippians 4:8-13

"Finally...". Paul begins to wrap up his letter by giving specific instructions and promises in the Lord to help the Philippians (and, us) live victoriously and face challenges common to every believer and to every church. The God of peace is with us, and we should park our minds on that which edifies. We need each other and we should support each other, but contentment is found in Jesus Christ and we can do all things through Him. In our Christian culture we find that last statement adorning pictures, jewelry, and t-shirts but we would do well to understand its context and the Spirit's original intent with that statement. 

July 15, 2018: "Singing in the Dark"

Philippians series message 19

Text: Philippians 4:4-7

In the hard times of life the question we often most want to ask is, "why?" Why are You allowing this God? Why is this happening? But consider for a minute if God answered and you understood the reasons behind the trials. How much comfort would that really bring? As we continue in Philippians this week, we will see in God's word that understanding it all might not live up to our expectations while God's peace will certainly exceed them.

 

 

July 1, 2018: "Your Message Matters!"

Philippians series message 18

Text: Philippians 4:2-3

What does pressing on look like? It's a lofty concept, but it's often expressed in the little things - like getting along with people who get under your skin or with people with whom you don't see eye to eye. It's preserving unity and taking the high road -  knowing the mission is bigger than your ego or opinions. Euodia and Syntyche weren't rookies in kingdom service, but needed to come to agreement, put their differences aside, and keep laboring for the kingdom. The key to success is found in yet another occurrence of the phrase, 'in the Lord'. This phrase changes everything! I love this small 'real life in ministry' snap shot with Paul. 

June 24, 2018: "That's how it's done, son"

 

Philippians series message 17

Text: Philippians 4:1

There's an aspect of the Christian life which is "pressing on" towards the goal and prize. There's also an aspect which is standing firm in the Lord. Even though it's placed in chapter four, it really is the ending to the thoughts given in chapter three. So what does it look like to stand firm in the Lord? Chapters 1-3 yield the answer:  being confident of the Lord's work in your life, contending together for faith of the Gospel, being intentional about unity, knowing the Gospel, knowing Christ and His resurrection power, etc. 

 

June 17, 2018: A Compelling Vision

Philippians series message 16

Text: Philippians 3:17-21

Paul leads by example by pressing on toward PRIZE. He reminds us, pointedly, that there are those who are enemies of the cross who will distract and pull us down. They are set on earthly things but we are citizens of HEAVEN, now. We are sojourners. This is not our home. It's not as if the prize is something completely future, as if it's tacked on to our current state. No, we live here as citizens of another kingdom - our hearts should be comforted by this and this is what should define our personal conduct. 

June 10, 2018: How Does That Work?!

Philippians series message 15

Text: Philippians 3:14-16

Paul lived by the power of Christ's resurrection through a humble mindset, leaving his past behind, and pressing on toward the prize. How does one press on toward the prize? There is still applicable truth to be squeezed out of Philippians 3:14, so we will pick up there and also discuss how we should relate with one another as we press toward that prize. 

June 3, 2018: Pressing in!

Philippians series message 14

Text: Philippians 3:12-14

Thus far, we've heard Paul affirm that we worship by the Spirit, put no confidence in the flesh, and boast in Christ. What a great personal example Paul gives- his intent is to truly know Christ experientially - the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made like Him in His death. What does this mean, and how do we 'press in' to this? A key question we posed last week, which we'll highlight in this message, is how do we live by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ? What does that look like and how can we help each other live in the joy and power of the resurrection? 

May 27, 2018: Are YOU a Moralist? part 2

Philippians series message 13

Text: Philippians 3:1-11

The Gospel flies in the face of what most of us conceive our relationship to God to be predicated upon. Not my merits, but His. Jesus' finished work on Calvary. Grace. Even as believers, it's super easy to fall back into the old way of thinking - somehow, some way, I've got to bring something to the table to "pay the rent" and keep this good standing intact. So, here we find a passage dedicated to putting no confidence in the flesh and glorying in Christ. We'll take two or three weeks on this passage; it's important and very applicable to parenting.  Raising moralists is not the same as raising a grace-filled and bold generation for Christ. 

Three key concepts from last time: worship by the Spirt, no confidence in the flesh, boasting in Christ.

All of this still applies this week, but we'll develop three key concepts from the latter verses: what I lost (ditched), what I've embraced, and how that changes everything for me in the most glorious way possible. 

May 13, 2018: Are YOU a Moralist?

Philippians series message 12

Text: Philippians 3:1-11

The Gospel flies in the face of what most of us conceive our relationship to God to be predicated upon. Not my merits, but His. Jesus' finished work on Calvary. Grace. Even as believers, it's super-easy to fall back into the old way of thinking - somehow, some way, I've got to bring something to the table to "pay the rent" and keep this good standing intact. So here we find a passage dedicated to putting no confidence in the flesh, and glorying in Christ. We'll take two or three weeks on this passage; it's important and very applicable to parenting - raising moralists is not the same as raising a grace filled and bold generation for Christ.   

May 6, 2018: Humility - A Test Case

Philippians series message 11

Text: Philippians 2:19-30

Paul told us to follow Christ's example and do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but, in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Now he'll flesh that out a bit and give two specific examples of what this looks like in ministry: Timothy & Epaphroditus. Want to know what it looks like on a personal level to be humble and serve each other? Look at these brothers. 

April 29, 2018: Don't Just Stand There!

Philippians series message 10

Text: Philippians 2:12-18

So we've focused on unity the past two weeks. Paul urges the Philippians to collectively work out their salvation by doing everything without grumbling or complaining. Attention will be given to the past, present, and future aspects of salvation as well as our responsibility to cooperate with the Spirit's presence and work in our lives to forward Christian maturity (and, our responsibility to spur others on to maturity and good works) while not losing sight of the context of this passage, which has in mind a more corporate working out of the same.