To Proclaim the Gospel
Jesus had a very clear mission in coming to earth. Although we are often enamored with his miracles and teachings, he came seeking the lost and proclaiming the good news that the captives are free. This week, we'll explore a passage that puts these items in their proper place as we ask ourselves if we want only the gifts from Jesus or do we want the gift of Jesus himself. See you Sunday at 10 am!
Bringing Light Into Darkness
It's hard to believe, but the Christmas season is upon us once again! This year, as we celebrate the coming of our Savior, our sermons will attempt to answer the big question - "Why?" Why did Jesus come to earth? And as we do so, it is our aim to help us see the beauty of Jesus and his work to save us. This week, the first answer we'll see is that Jesus came to bring light into darkness. Hopefully you will be able to join us on Sunday as we begin our Christmas celebration!
Proof of God's Faithfulness
As we head into the Christmas season, we have one more week in Romans before we take a few weeks off to celebrate the birth of our Savior. One thing about the coming of Christ, it was promised long before it happened. The fact that it happened the way that it was promised is proof that God is faithful to his promises. This week, we look at another set of evidence that God is faithful in keeping all of his promises. I love sharing with you how God is faithful, even when we're not.
Our Joint Work In Spreading Salvation
Last week see saw the both/and of salvation when we looked at the fact that Scripture teaches that salvation is both a work of God and that man has a responsibility to respond. Paul speaks in the text at length about how no one can respond without someone telling them about the gospel and the hope they can find in Jesus. There is a temptation to look at this text, however, and say that the responsibility is for someone else. This week, we'll take a closer look at this text and ask ourselves one final question - "What is my job in God's ongoing work to save a people to himself and for his glory?"
The Need To Hear
There is a saying that is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that says "Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." While it is doubtful that Francis actually said that, I also hope that he didn't because it isn't Biblical. There is a need to make sure our actions match up with our words to be sure, but we need to use words. Paul has made the case a couple of weeks ago that we need to pray for those who need Jesus and last week we saw how people need to respond. This week, we'll find out how people will come to hear.
Who Can Be Saved?
One of the big things we teach in Bible Pathways is the idea of context. That means that the text surrounding a particular text matters and helps us understand the meaning. Also, we need to understand the context of any quoted text as well. Both of these tools help us to understand that a given text means and will help us this week understand Romans 10:5-13.
The End of the Law
I'm sure we've known someone who is outwardly zealous for God. I call it being on fire for the Lord. There are those who are excited about God and they want everyone to know about it. You think to yourself, "Man, they have to be born again!" But are they? Our text this week warns against having a zeal or passion for God without having a relationship with him.
Our Mercifully Unfair God
As a dad, I've learned a lot about two things - mercy and fairness. And what I've learned is that they go together about as well as water and oil. Fairness is all about getting what you deserve and mercy is all about getting what you don't deserve. This week, we'll continue Romans 9 and see how Paul deals with the charge that God isn't fair - and my answer may surprise you!
With Romans 8 in our review mirror, we move on to Romans 9 and pick up our pace a bit. Paul is shifting his focus to cover a couple of things. First, he's showing his heart to see people, and in particular his Jewish brothers and sisters, come to trust Jesus as well. Second, he's answering charges that God is unfair in his application of the promise to Abraham. How Paul answers those questions reminds us that God is good and loving -- even when it seems like he's not. I hope you'll join us and you'll consider bringing a friend this week!
Our Persistent Hope
Sometimes it's fun to walk through the woods and marvel at the leaves on a tree or the flower along the path. It helps you to grow and to learn about nature. But sometimes you need to step back and see the entire forest or field of flowers to fully appreciate the majesty of creation. This is one of those Sundays. Over the last 12 weeks, we've slowly walked through what many call the greatest chapter in all of Scripture. During that time, we've learned Paul's message to the Roman church was that their present position in Christ and their promised future in Christ provides a persistent hope in Christ. Today we wrap up our series on Romans 8 with a review of the entire chapter.
Secure in the Love of Christ
As we've spent the last few weeks in the beauty that is Romans 8, one thing is abundantly clear and that is no matter what happens in this life, Jesus keeps us safely secured in his love. How secure? Well, so secure that Paul says that nothing can take a Christian out of the grip of Jesus. Since this is true, how does that change our lives? Be sure and be here Sunday as we find out together!
Love Is Greater
According to a recent article I read, every day, 13 of our brothers and sisters are killed because they have claimed the name of Jesus Christ. Greater numbers face persecution or tribulation every day. And that doesn't even begin to count those who face opposition on a lower level but still have significant opposition. Despite all the blessings of being a Christian, there are many days when it is hard. How do we deal with the issues? By remembering that God loves us enough to have died for us and that secures our future.
The Price That Was Paid
Have you ever heard of the sunk cost fallacy? It's the reason you finish a movie or book even though you don't like it. "I have too much invested to quit." While it is a fallacy in life, Paul's argument that God won't give up on you is exactly that. How so? See you Sunday to find out and be sure and invite a friend!
God's Good Plan For His Children
Last Sunday as we closed, I mentioned how the lightbulb came on for me as a result of studying Romans 8. This week, we'll explore more about what is going on in this text and how it gives us incredible confidence. I really hope you can join us Sunday either in person or via our livestream at 10 am.
The Great Promise
There are a handful of verses that people know whether they are active in their faith or have just a passing familiarity with the Bible. John 3:16 or Psalm 23:4 are well known verses. But I'd contend that Romans 8:28 must be on that list and brings together many threads that are in the Scripture into one incredible promise. I hope to see you Sunday as we resume our study of Romans 8 with a look at "The Great Promise."
Our Holy Helper
Many years ago, I used to train managers on how to train their staff. The problem we had was too many managers just dropped off new staff and told them to do the job and the new employee would get frustrated. I explained that a good manager had to stay there and make sure that the staff understood what they needed to do. For the Christian, we often feel the same way. Take prayer for example. We know we are supposed to pray, but no one shows us how to pray. So we struggle and get frustrated. One of the joys is that God didn't design it that way. In fact, our text this week shows us how God cares enough to intercede on our behalf to make sure we can get it done right.
Waiting Is the Hardest Part
As I prepare to travel overseas this fall for that teaching trip, I am reminded how much I despise air travel. The hardest part is waiting. You wait in line to check into your flight, then to go through security, then at the coffee shop for a cup of coffee and then at the gate for the plane. I am not a person who waits well. This week, our text talks about how Paul wanted the church in Rome to wait and as an example, he uses a most unlikely source. I hope you'll join us Sunday at 10 am as we consider how we wait for God's promises to come true shows a lot about how strong our faith is.
The Security of Adoption
The other day, I had a chance to visit with the chaplain at our retirement home in Boone and he shared how many of the residents wonder if we are in the last days or the end times. As he shared this, he said he started preaching a series that reminded them that it really doesn't matter. What matters is that we remember God's promises, keep our walk pure, and trust that he'll provide and protect to the end. Ironically enough, he's doing that through the Old Testament book of Zechariah and we'll see the same thing in the New Testament book of Romans this Sunday.
The Debt We Owe
In 1656, Puritan John Owen wrote an exposition on our text today entitled "The Mortification of Sin". In that book, he wrote a line that many have repeated over the years. He wrote, "Be killing sin or sin will be killing you." This warning has echoed throughout the ages in the church as a warning from Romans 8:13. This Sunday, we'll continue our study of Romans 8 with a look at how the battle to kill sin is possible in the life of a Christian - and more necessary than you realize.
New Life in the Spirit
One of the most enduring advertising campaigns in recent memory is for Gatorade and they ask "Is it in you?" The ad asks if you have the drive to win, the desire to succeed, are you willing to pay the price for victory and if you are, then you need to drink Gatorade. For the Christian, we don't ask "Is IT in you" but instead "Is HE in you" meaning is the Spirit of God dwelling inside of you. If you are a Christ-follower, then the answer is yes, and if the answer is yes, then some pretty amazing things are true. What are they? Well, put down the fireworks this weekend long enough to join us for worship on Sunday. We'll see you at 10 am and answer that question!
Set Free in the Spirit of Life
Last week, we came to see that because there is no condemnation, we are free. But, what is the source of this freedom? In other words, what allows us to be free and to live free? The answer is the saving power of Christ and the life-giving power of the Spirit. We'll see you Sunday at 10 am as we continue to study the greatest chapter in the Bible and this incredible truth that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
This week, our study in Romans takes us to what many consider to be the greatest chapter in all of the Bible. Romans 8 is the climax of the first seven chapters of Romans and reminds us of our present condition, our promised future, which both lead to our persistent hope. Over the next 12 weeks, we will take our time and explore the riches and depth of this incredible letter all for God's glory. I can't wait to dive into this with all of you.
The Deliverer Has Come
Last Sunday, we saw how even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin in his life. We concluded that the way to defeat sin in our life is the same way we come to Christ to begin with - we come to Jesus in repentance and faith. Now, Paul wraps up this section by showing us the right response to Christ's saving grace. We'll see you Sunday at 10 am as we consider our response to the fact that "The Deliverer Has Come".
Dealing With Indwelling Sin
Last week, we learned that if you use the law rightly, it will lead you to Jesus. But what about those of us who already know and trust Christ? How do we deal with those persistent areas of sin in our lives that drag us down and discourage our walk with Jesus? Paul continues to explore this idea in our text this week as we continue our study of Romans.
The Holy Purpose of the Law
This week, we return to our study of Romans. Throughout this letter, the apostle Paul has built a case to the Jewish Christians that their obedience to the law will not save them nor grant them favor in God's sight. Because of this, they needed to trust in Christ's obedience for salvation rather than the law. But the law had a purpose in the plan of salvation and that's what we'll visit this week as we explore Romans 7:7-12. I'm excited to return to Romans - we'll see you Sunday at 10 am!
No More Fear
This week, we wrap up our time looking at the resurrection by returning to a well known text. Matthew 28 describes the wonderful news that Jesus is not dead, he is not in the tomb, but he is alive. We see the women who have come to finish preparing a body for burial surprised and elated that the tomb is empty. And in this, they are told not to be afraid, but to go and tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee. Likewise, the fact that Jesus died and rose again means that we can now obey Jesus without fear as well.
Fixing What Is Broken
As we continue our look at the power of the resurrection in our lives on this Mother's Day, it's appropriate that we see the power of Jesus in the life of a mother. The reality is that sin breaks everything but the hope of the resurrection is that Jesus is fixing what is broken and making all things new. That's every mom's (and everyone's) hope. Hope to see you (and your mom or son or daughter or someone!) this Sunday as we see how Jesus is fixing what is broken.