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12.03.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: You can find messages of “hope” on everything from greeting cards to billboards this time of year. But do you feel like you have hope? Where do you put your hope? Is your hope directly proportional to your performance in life? Come and hear how the gospel overturns this assumption as we close our mini-series on justification by faith.

 

REFLECTION:

Much that we have interpreted as a defect of sanctification in church people is really an outgrowth of their loss of bearing with respect to justification. Christians who are no longer sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, apart from their present spiritual achievements, are subconsciously radically insecure people…. Their insecurity shows itself in pride, a fierce, defensive assertion of their own righteousness [or “rightness”], and defensive criticism of others. They come naturally to hate other cultural styles and other races in order to bolster their own security and discharge the suppressed anger.

—Richard Lovelace, The Dynamics of Spiritual Life

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 52:7-10

7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8 The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem
for the Lord has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

 

Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

O Lord our God, you have searched us and known us. You know not only what we say, but also what we think.

You know that we have been quick to boast in ourselves and eager to condemn others.

We have been slow to acknowledge our faults and hesitant to turn to you in need.

We have doubted the power of your love and forgotten the abundance of your grace.

Father, forgive us through Jesus Christ, and heal us by the power of your Spirit. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER: Christ is coming! let creation

Words by John Ross Macduff, Music by Coram Deo Church

 

Verse 1

Christ is coming! let creation

From her groans and labors cease,

Let the glorious proclamation

Hope restore, and faith increase.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Come, Thou blessed Prince of Peace.

 

Verse 2

Earth can now but tell the story

Of Thy bitter cross and pain;

She shall yet behold Thy glory

When the Lord comes back to reign.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Let each heart repeat the strain.

 

Verse 3

Long Thy people have been pining

For Thy peace and rest, and Thee,

Soon, in heav’nly glory shining,

Their Restorer shall they see.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Haste the joyous jubilee.

 

Verse 4

With that blessed hope before us,

Let no harp remain unstrung;

Let the mighty advent chorus

Onward roll on every tongue.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

 

 

 

11.26.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: We live in a culture that doesn’t talk much about friendship. Many relationships today have become digitized. We value virtual reality instead of physical reality. The more we hide behind our devices the more out of touch we become not only with others but ourselves. The Bible is utterly unique when it comes to the discussion of friendship. The Scriptures actually say we can’t do life without friends. So, if you’re tired of the FaceBook and Instagram world of friendships, then come this Sunday to hear what the bible has to say about the beauty of true friendship.

 

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

John 15:5-17

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

 

A collection from Proverbs

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity

Proverbs 18:24 – A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

Proverbs 25:17 – Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you

Proverbs 25:18 –A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow

Proverbs 25:20 – Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda

Proverbs 26:18-19 – Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”

Proverbs 27:5-6 – Better is open rebuke than hidden love, Faithful are the wounds of a friend and profuse are the kisses of an enemy

Proverbs 27:9 – Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:14 – Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another

Proverbs 28:23 – Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue

Proverbs 29:5 – A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Lord, you said,

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Forgive us for our lukewarm love and disobedience.

 

Lord, you said,

“You may ask for anything in my name.”

Forgive us for trying to solve our problems without you.

 

Lord, you said,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Forgive us for submitting to fear and anxiety.

 

Lord, you said,

“Love each other as I have loved you.”

Forgive us for how we have failed to love you and one another.

 

Lord, you also said,

“My blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We cling to the cross, trusting that you alone have the power to save. Amen.

11.19.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: The blessing of singleness. Really? How could that be in a culture that continually tells us that we not worth much unless we are loved by a “significant other.” Come this Sunday to discover what God says about singleness.

 

REFLECTIONS: 

Single Christians living in purity and community are billboards for the sufficiency of Jesus

—Peter Hubbard

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

2     Serve the Lord with gladness!

   Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord, he is God!

   It is he who made us, and we are his;

   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

   and his courts with praise!

   Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;

   his steadfast love endures forever,

   and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 17-28, 32-35

7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

 

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

25 Now concerning the betrothed,  I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Our Father,

Forgive us for thinking small thoughts of you

and for ignoring your immensity and greatness.

Lord Jesus,

Forgive us when we forget that you rule

the nations and our small lives.

Holy Spirit,

Forgive us for minimizing your power

and squandering your gifts.

Triune God,

We confess that our blindness to your glory has resulted in shallow confession, tepid conviction, and only mild repentance.

Have mercy upon us;

in Jesus’ name, amen.

11.12.2017

 

SERMON SUMMARY:

The Protestant Reformation is often viewed as one of the most divisive events in church history. Countless denominations have arisen as a result of it. What if anything does Justification by Faith have to contribute to church unity? Come and hear what the Apostle Paul teaches in the book of Romans as we continue our series on the generative possibilities of his doctrine.

 

REFLECTIONS:

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said … “…How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”

—The Apostle Paul

“Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good—above all, that we are better than someone else—I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil.”

—C.S. Lewis

“The doctrines [George Whitefield preaches] are most repulsive and strongly tinctured with impertinence and disrespect towards their superiors, in perpetually endeavoring to level all ranks and to do away with all distinctions. It is monstrous to be told you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth.”

—Catherine Woodville, The Duchess of Buckingham

 

SCRIPTURE:

Genesis 12:1-2, 15:3-6, 17:4-5, 10-11

12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Years later, 15:3 Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

After many more years had passed, God said to Abram, 17:4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.”

 

Romans 3:28–4:1, 9–18

3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

4:1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?

9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, you have said that no one is righteous, that no one understands, that no one seeks God.

Forgive us for denying our need of you,

For turning to idols when we are anxious,

For trusting in our own strength and goodness.

And for imagining we deserve your love more than others.

 

Silent confession

 

Forgive us, Father, and cleanse us from our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. Renew us, Holy Spirit, and grant us faith to trust in you alone for our salvation. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

11.05.2017

 

What do you have that you did not receive?

—The Apostle Paul

 

The lives which have no use, no meaning, no purpose, will fade out. You will have to justify your existence or perish.

—George Bernard Shaw  

 

Pride is essentially competitive.

—C.S. Lewis

 

Blessed are the arrogant, for there is the kingdom of their own company. 

—Kendrick Lamar

 

SERMON SUMMARY: We all know the picture—arms raised in the air, fists punching the sky. This seemingly universal picture of human conquest is something we have all seen and experiences. “I am the greatest,” Ali said. But what does this universal human tendency have to do with God’s triumphant shout: “Jesus is the greatest.”

 

SCRIPTURE:

Jeremiah 9:23-26

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

25 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

Romans 3:19-31

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

O Lord our God, you have searched us and known us.
You know not only what we say, but also what we think.

You know that we have been quick to boast in ourselves and eager to condemn others.
We have been slow to acknowledge our faults and hesitant to turn to you in need.
We have doubted the power of your love and forgotten the abundance of your grace.

Father, forgive us through Jesus Christ, and heal us by the power of your Spirit. Amen.

 

CONFESSION OF FAITH:

Christian, have you received God’s grace because of any merit of your own?

No, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. And since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

10.29.2017

 

[S]alvation by self-effort is a principle that the fallen human mind takes for granted.

—J.I. Packer

 

The doctrine of Justification reminds us that God’s grace is the fundamental and all-determining dimension of human life.

—Eberhard Jüngel

SERMON SUMMARY:

500 years ago Europe was set ablaze with a single idea—humans are justified before God by faith alone. Some wonder how this principle—that ignited the Reformation and for which countless Europeans would give their lives—is still relevant today. And besides, don’t we understand the message Luther was promoting? Yet the anxiety that plagued Luther and his contemporaries is as pervasive in our own day as it was in his. Could it be that we have failed to grasp the message that captivated Luther? And could a rediscovery of Justification by faith have just as much relevance today as it did 500 years ago?

 

SCRIPTURE:

Exodus 20:2-4, 7-17

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Matthew 22:37-40

37 [And] he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Romans 3:19-31

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

CONFESSION OF FAITH – Heidelberg Question #1

Christian, what is your only comfort in life and in death?

That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and is making me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

10.22.2017

 

We do not presume to come to this thy Table (O merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We be not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, in these holy Mysteries, that we may continually dwell in him, and he in us, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood. Amen.

Thomas Cramner

 

Sermon Summary: “God is good!” This is common parlance among Christians, but do we really trust that God is working for our good? How do we respond when we don’t understand what he is doing, or when things don’t seem to be getting better? Come and learn from the life of Jesus as we continue our series in Mark.

 

Passages to Consider:

Isaiah 35:4-7

Say to those who have an anxious heart,

“Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

Mark 7:24-37

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.[a] And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

 

Confession of Sin:

Father, you have shown us the way of life through your Son, Jesus Christ.

We confess that we are slow to follow him,

reluctant to trust him,

and hesitant to tell others about him.

(silent confession)

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit and renew our faith. We pray this in Jesus name

Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon:

Jesus says, “Behold, I am making all things new.

To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

Christian, know that Jesus, having freed you from your sins, freely gives you eternal life.

10.15.2017

 

A healthy outside starts from the inside. Robert Urich

I know my part, so don’t even start about my good heart. David Ramirez

It was because we rejected the doctrine of original sin that we on the Left were always being so disappointed; disappointed by the refusal of people to be reasonable . . . by the behavior of nations and politicians . . . above all, by the recurrent fact of war. 

C. M. Joad, The Recovery of Belief

The line between good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either— but right through every human heart— and through all human hearts.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 

The Prophet Jeremiah

 

Sermon Summary: We are a people passionate about cleanliness. We purchase the best laundry detergent, hire the most thorough housekeepers, we are even possessed to clean our bodies through diet and detox regimes. But does that really leave us clean? How or can we become clean to the core? Come this week to hear how Jesus addresses this longing in Mark 7.

 

Passages to Consider:

Zechariah 3:1-10

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.

6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

Mark 7:1-23

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches. 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

7 in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) — 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

 

Confession of Sin:

Almighty God,

You have raised Jesus from death to life and crowned him Lord of all.

We confess that we have not acknowledge his authority.

We have refused your salvation by attempting to be saviors.

We have boasted in our own achievements.

(silent confession)

Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be your faithful people, following our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

10.08.2017

 

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’ 

—Isaiah 41:13

[Mark’s] account is honest, self-critical, transparent, and unadorned. The group with which Jesus works admits to disbelief and the inability to comprehend key aspects of his person and teaching. The Master is portrayed as incomprehensible and yet deeply personal, puzzling yet captivating, awesome yet the harbor of profound hope.

—Hans Bayer

 

Sermon Summary: Who is Jesus and who are you in relationship to him? These are questions that are continually placed before us. Whether we are answering them for the first time or the fortieth time, there is always more to discover.

 

Passage to Consider: Mark 6:45-52

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

 

Confession of Sin:

Almighty God,
you have raised Jesus from death to life and crowned him Lord of all.

We confess that we have not acknowledged his authority
or trusted in his commands.
We have boasted in our own achievements and failed to give him thanks. We have been deaf to his call and blind to his work in our world.

(silent confession)

Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be your faithful people, following our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting. Amen

10.01.2017

 

Sermon Summary: It’s easy to think we can be loved when we are at our best, but what about when we’re not, who will love us when we are at our worst? Come this Sunday as we look at John 4 which describes the kind of people Jesus loves.

 

Passage to Consider: John 4:1-18, 27-30

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?”28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

 

Confession of Sin:

Merciful God,

For the things we have done that we regret,

forgive us.

For the things we have failed to do that we regret,

forgive us.

For  the times we have acted without love,

forgive us.

For  the times we have reacted without thought,

forgive us.

For the times we have withdrawn care,

forgive us.

For all the times we have failed to forgive,

forgive us.

Meet us in our weakness, guilt, and shame, and cleanse us from all that burdens us. For Jesus sake, Amen.

 

Song to Consider

Words by William Cowper (alt Twit), Music by Kevin Twit and Lucas Morton
©2015 Kevin Twit Music (ASCAP) and Lucas Morton Music (BMI)

lyrics

CHORUS:
Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are
We long to feel Thy touch
Deep wounded souls to Thee we fly
O Savior hear our cry

1. Our faith is feeble, we confess
We faintly trust Thy word
But will You pity us the less?
Be that far from You Lord!

2. Remember him who once applied
With trembling for relief
“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried
“O help my unbelief!”

3. She, too, who touched you in the press
And healing virtue stole
Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace
Thy faith has made thee whole.”

4. Like her, with hopes and fears we come
To touch You if we may
O send us not despairing home
Send none unhealed away