Sermons from 2017
The repetition of a name indicates great urgency paired with affection and intimacy. Jesus gently reminds Martha that our first duty and highest privilege is to humbly listen to Him. We often live shallow lives because we neglect the discipline of listening to Jesus through His word. Like Joshua, let us say to the Lord, “What does my lord say to his servant” Joshua 5:14 (ESV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not…
God’s love gift of His son: It is free: we cannot earn God’s love. It is unending: a certain promise of eternal life. It is sacrificial and boundless: It is available to all, no matter the depth of our sin or the frailty of our faith.
Faith is the essential spiritual requirement to receive eternal life, according to John 3:16. But what exactly is saving faith? We must know and agree with the facts of the gospel that are explained in the Bible. Additionally, we must commit ourselves to Christ, asking Him for His gift of love and mercy, entrusting ourselves to Him. Although we may only have a “scrap of faith” mixed with some unbelief, God invites us to put our faith in Christ and find forgiveness and grace.
John 3:16 is the story of story of: The Greatest Danger: Our greatest danger is perishing, being condemned to eternal ruin, separated from the goodness of Christ after we die. The Greatest Rescue: Our greatest rescue is by God who so loved the world, the world that was hostile to Him and that rebelled against Him, that He sent His only Son to die for our rebellion that we might not perish, but have eternal life. The Greatest Promise: Our greatest promise is the that we can have eternal life and it can be our present possession that cannot be taken away.
God lovingly and freely gives the gift of eternal life to all who believe in His Son. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:40 (ESV) Eternal life is a present reality that we possess now, an eternal relationship that will be fully realized in the resurrection when we will enjoy Him forever. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)
John 3:16 expresses the depth of God’s great love for us. The holy self-existent God who holds us accountable loved the world: all of humanity. In love He gave His Son, Emmanuel, God with us, to die as a substitutionary sacrifice and pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus calls us to trust and believe in Him so that we might not perish but find everlasting life.
Hebrews 3:3 reminds us to pray for out persecuted brothers and sisters. Continue to remember those in prison, as if you were together with them prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Here are a few ways we can pray: Pray that the persecuted church (and we as well) will be unafraid and faithful (Revelation 2:8-11). Pray for God to fill them with the Holy Spirit and enable them to speak and act boldly with clarity, wisdom, and courage (Acts 4:31). Pray that they will be joyful, rejoicing that Jesus and His name are worthy of any cost (Acts 5:41).
Faith alone is the key to forgiveness and salvation. We all know and feel our guilt and brokenness before a holy God. Jesus Christ alone must be the object of our faith that brings justification and peace with God. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, not a feeling. It can be increased through prayer and the study scripture. Faith is not a work, but spurs us on to good works as we serve as the representatives of Christ.
It is impossible to live a life of Christian holiness without the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by letting God’s Word saturate our lives (cf. Colossians 3:16-27) and by asking the Spirit to control us. Lives filled with the Holy Spirit are characterized by worship form the heart, gratitude for God’s presence, and sovereignty, and submission to one another out of reverence for Christ.
What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 4:25-32 gives examples of how believers can grieve the Hoy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God in Deity and in love for us. Whenever a person participates in lies, sinful anger, stealing, corrupt speech, and animosity we fail to live up to our confession of faith and we grieve the Holy Spirit. Instead, let us pursue truthfulness, generosity, encouragement and compassion.
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague spiritual force, co-equal with God in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit lives in believers, a forever present Helper who reveals the truths of Scripture to us. It is important to follow the command of Jesus to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit to increasingly fill us and work in our lives.
How often do you pray and don’t receive the answer you desire? Pastor Becker explains how we can understand another great promise that Jesus gave the disciples during the Upper Room Discourse, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” He helps us understand what it means to pray in Jesus’ name and what it means that God is glorified.
In the verse above Jesus makes this promise to all believers that not only will we carry on His work, but we will do His work in a greater way than He did. What could this possibly mean that we could do greater works? Pastor Gregory breaks down this verse for us and shows us how the work of spreading the gospel to reach others is an even greater work.
The only way that we accurately know the Father is through knowing Jesus. God the Father and Jesus share one divine essence – “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). God’s character and nature are on full display in Jesus. Jesus makes the Father known by His words and by His mighty works.
Jesus plainly claims to be the exclusive path to the Father. In scripture: “I am” is the sacred name of the eternal, self-existing God (Exodus 3:14). “The way” is a path that begins under God’s judgement and ends in the presence of God in His house. The only path is Jesus, our sin-bearing substitute. “The truth”,Jesus came to bear witness to the truth that brings us freedom. (John 8:32) “The life” Those who believe in Christ Have crossed over from death to life! (John 5:24)
In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples and explains to them how to live for his glory in this world. He encourages them to believe in Him and to trust in the promise of heaven. Heaven is a real place, available to all who believe in the Gospel. It is our eternal home, a place filled with joy and love. There we will be with Jesus “…at home with the Lord.”
“I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor? Isaiah 51:12-13 (ESV) Isaiah 51:12-13…
People fear that they will not achieve success, that their needs and wants will be unmet. Some respond with worry, while others take up a lifestyle of greed or give up trying. But success in God’s economy comes through fidelity to Christ. As we experience God’s salvation and pledge ourselves to be used by God, we find true victory and success.
The fear of death, fear of failure, and the fear of others all affect how we live our lives, but the fear of the Lord overcomes all three. The fear of the Lord is a reverence and awe that comes from knowing God in an ever-increasing way and behaving in accordance with that knowledge. People in the Bible feared God when they witnessed His power in nature and as they experienced His wrath in the protection an purification of His people. When God demonstrates His holiness, we see our own unholiness. God’s message to mankind in sending His Son to die on our behalf is that the wrath of God must be satisfied. Look to God in reverence and trust in Christ to forgive you sins.