Christmas Unwrapped

Have you unwrapped the gift yet? It’s been sitting under the tree for you for some time. But it’s not really yours until you open it. Have you unwrapped the gift of the Son of God, Jesus Christ and received Him as your Lord and Savior? It’s not enough to guess at the contents, to shake the box and even hold it in your lap. It’s not really yours until you open it.

Unwrapping the Savior

December 9, 2018

The first Christmas was a humble one. Jesus was not born in a royal palace, but in an animal pen. He was not born as a prince, but as a pauper. His birth was not announced before high society, but before lowly shepherds. He slept not on a bed with sheets, but a manger filled with straw. Jesus came not as a Sovereign, but as a Servant. Jesus came to save us. He came to be our Savior.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he described the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior. We can understand the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior.

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Unwrapping the Son

December 2, 2018

Some of us like to give hints to see if the recipient of our gift can guess what’s inside. It builds the anticipation. That’s what God did. Centuries before offering us the gift of His Son, Jesus, He gave “hints” to the prophets of Israel concerning the coming of the Messiah. One of those prophets was Isaiah. God gave Isaiah many of the over 300 Messianic prophecies found in the Old Testament.

In Isaiah 9, God gave him a Messianic prophecy of a promised Son that would be given. We can recognize that Jesus is the promised Son that would be given. He is the Son of God given unto us.

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Thankful

In our Thanksgiving message for 2018, we contemplate everything we have to be thankful for.

Thankful

November 25, 2018

Do you thank God in all circumstances? Can you thank Him when things are up and also thank and trust Him when things aren’t? It’s easy to be grateful in prosperity, but what of the storm? We need a heart set on gratitude, mind intent on giving God His due praise.

In Psalm 100, the psalmist instructs all people to offer thanksgiving to the Lord for He is good, eternally loving and He is faithful. We too can offer thanksgiving to the Lord.

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Righteousness Revealed: An Exposition of Romans

As we go verse by verse through the book of Romans, we learn how God wants to make us right with Himself and each other.

God’s Justification By Faith

November 18, 2018

the claim of Christ is not only for “Christians.” It is for everyone. This may go against today’s culture, but we believe that faith in Christ is the only way to be made right with God. Christ is the only path to God. In other words, the only way to receive God’s justification is by faith in Christ Jesus.

In Romans 4, the apostle Paul put forth the Old Testament examples of Abraham and David as evidence that God’s justification has always been by faith alone.

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God’s Righteousness Through Faith

November 11, 2018

Are you right with God? Every religion asks this question. And all of them but one, give the same answer–– it depends on your spiritual report card. If you have good moral and religious grades, then God will accept you. But this is not the answer given in Christianity. Authentic Christianity actually informs us that we are not right with God and that there’s no way that we can get right with Him on our own. So, God sent His Son Jesus to take the test of life and got a perfect score. His spiritual report card has straight “A”s! And God offers to exchange Christ’s perfect report in place of our failing one. In Romans 3:21-31, the apostle Paul told the Romans that the only way to receive the righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ. We can understand why the righteousness of God can only be received by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

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God and Human Accountability

November 4, 2018

We are all born with a kind of moral compass, an intuition for right and wrong, called a conscience. We even have a desire for justice and accountability in this world. From our earliest memories, we have a desire for fairness. Yet, the world is not fair. And justice doesn’t reign. Unfortunately, our idea of justice tends to be more for everybody else, while we make excuses for our own sin, calling them mistakes, shortcomings, bad habits, etc. But rarely, sin.
Paul has something to say about God and human accountability. In Romans 3:1-20, the apostle Paul concluded that all humanity–– whether the pagan Gentile, the self- righteous moralist, or the outwardly religious–– all humanity is accountable unto God for their sin and therefore in desperate need of the gospel. We can be convinced that we are all accountable unto God for our sin and in desperate need of the gospel.

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God and the Religious

October 28, 2018

Why do we need this gospel which grants us the “righteousness of God?” Well, that’s the question that Paul spends the next portion of his letter answering. From Romans 1:18 all the way up to Romans 3:20, Paul explains why everyone needs the gospel. In Romans 1:18-32, we looked at why the irreligious and Gentile pagan need the gospel. Last Sunday in Romans 2:1-16, we discussed why the moral, self-righteous need the gospel. Today, we’ll be looking at Romans 2:17-29 in a message we’ve entitled, “God and the Religious,” discussing why the outwardly religious, whether it’s Judaism or Christianity or any other religion, will not make us right with God. The religious need the gospel!

We live in the middle of the Bible Belt. I thought about titling this sermon, “God and the Bible Belt.” Because people who live in the Bible Belt need the gospel. Just because you’re an flag-flying, BBQ-eating, church-going, American, that doesn’t mean you’re right with God. True Christianity is not about religion, but a relationship. Outward religion does not please God. In Romans 2:17-29, the apostle Paul told the Jews that their outward religion would not make them righteous before God. We can recognize that outward religion will not make us righteous before God.

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God’s Judgment Revealed

October 21, 2018

The truth is, we usually think of God’s judgment as something that someone else needs a good dose of! Many think that they don’t need the gospel because they are a good person and therefore God won’t judge them. But Paul’s letter to the Romans has something to say about that. In the book of Romans chapter 2:1-16, Paul warned the self-righteous that they would have no defense
before God’s judgment. We can understand that our own attempts at self-righteousness will provide no defense before God’s judgment.

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God’s Wrath Revealed

October 14, 2018

Why do we need the gospel? Is it so we can be better parents, have better marriages, experience greater happiness? Sure, these are benefits of receiving the gospel by faith. But no, they do not get at the real reason that we need the gospel. We need the gospel because we have offended God’s righteousness. We have rebelled against God and we have gone our own sinful way. That’s what sin is. lt’s an attitude of disobedience that says, “I will do things my way, not God’s way.” As a result, Paul says that God’s wrath is already upon us. The apostle Paul spent the first 17 verses of his letter to the Romans introducing himself and reminding them of the power and righteousness of God found only in the gospel. Having introduced this great theme, Paul spent the rest of chapter one explaining that the wrath of God is already being revealed against the ungodly and the unrighteous who have not received the gospel. We can faithfully respond to the revelation of God’s wrath against those who have not received the gospel.

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God’s Gospel Revealed

October 7, 2018

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul told the believers in Rome that he was eager to reveal God’s gospel to them as it had been given to him. We can receive God’s revealed Gospel as it has been offered to us. The gospel that reveals God’s righteousness calls us to God, obligates us to share it with others, and is the power of God for salvation.

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