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Philippians 3:12-16- Straining Toward the Prize (9/17/17)
How do we make progress in our spiritual lives if we are haunted by our past? Paul shows us the importance of forgetting the past and straining every spiritual muscle toward the future prize of glory. We must lay hold on Christlikeness and make it our own just as Christ laid hold on us to make us his own.

Philippians 3:1-11- Counting It All Loss to Christ (9/10/17)
What is your soul's refuge when Judgment falls? Many of us seek refuge in our church attendance or moral living, but Paul teaches us that these things are insufficient grounds of salvation. We must leave behind our moral achievements and come broken to Christ in order to find true life.

Philippians 2:19-30- Portraits of Godliness (9/3/17)
How should we treat the godly individuals we know around us? Scripture calls us to speak highly of them, rejoice over them, and imitate their living.

Luke 15- A Father's Welcome Home (8/23/17)
In this Homecoming sermon, we discover that God loves to call a celebration in heaven whenever one sinner repents, and so should we. Although we rejoice over lots of things, the salvation of sinners ought to top the charts of our excitement. When it doesn't, we begin to look more like the prideful older brother than the gracious and compassionate Father.

Philippians 2.14-18- "Shining for Christ in a Dark World"
How do you shine for Christ in such a dark world? By avoiding grumbling and griping, holding fast to the Word of life, and learning to rejoice in all circumstances because of the hope we have in Christ.

Philippians 2:12-13- "Work Out What God Works In"
They call work "the daily grind" for a reason. But what about the work of salvation? We can never work to earn our salvation, but once God has worked salvation in us, we must work it out on a daily basis. The hard work of living for Christ is to be done with fear and trembling before God and we must always remember God empowers us to will and work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:1-11- "Christ-Like Humility"

Philippians 1:18b-30- "To Live is Christ. To Die is Gain."

Philippians 1:12-18a- "Rejoice! Nothing Can Stop the Gospel!"

Philippians 1:1-11- "Pray for Your Church"

1 Corinthians 15:1-5- "Remember the Gospel"

Hebrews 10:19-25- "The Day is Fast Approaching"

Colossians 3:1-4- "Set Your Minds On Things Above"

1 Timothy 1:12-17- "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners"

Ezra 9-10- "Unfaithful to a Faithful God" (5/21/17)
After all God's faithfulness to His people, they proved themselves unfaithful to Him yet again. Ezra intercedes on behalf of the people and they come to repentance. While we are often unfaithful to God, Christ has come to bear our sins on the cross and intercede on our behalf before God. Now, by the Holy Spirit, we can turn from our sins and find forgiveness in Christ.

1 Samuel 1-2- "Hannah & Samuel" (5/14/17)
What does godly motherhood look like? We find out by studying the story of Hannah and her son Samuel. Godly mother pray for their children, devote them to the Lord all the days of their lives, and praise God for their children.

Ezra 7-8- "Ezra: A Leader Devoted to God's Word" (5/7/17)
We see in Ezra a man who leads God's people in devotion to His Word. Ezra studied to know, live, and teach God's Word. We are all challenged to equally devote ourselves to God's Word and lead in our communities.

Ezra 3-6- "The Temple Completed: A Work of God" (4/23/17)
We are all called to build God's kingdom in this world, but how do we keep it up when we face such opposition as the world gives us? It is only possible if God's eye is upon us. That's exactly what we find out is this case when God's people, the returned Jews, begin rebuilding the temple Nebuchadnezzar destroyed. Because God's eye is upon his people, they can persevere in building his kingdom despite any opposition they may face.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19- "If Christ Never Rose from the Dead" (4/16/17)
Imagine if archaeologists discovered the body of Jesus in a tomb outside Jerusalem and there was verifiable proof it was His body. Would this discovery in any way alter the way you live your daily life? Join us as we follow the apostle Paul's reasoning to find out what life would mean for us if Christ never rose again.

Ezra 1-2- "Coming Home Again" (4/9/17)
In this homecoming message, we begin a study of the book of Ezra. We were able to see that God moves the hearts of kings to accomplish his word and he moves the hearts of his people to worship him alone. Our God was willing, and did, move heaven and earth to fulfill his good word to his people and bring them home with him to glory.

Titus 3:9-15- "Grace Avoids Sin and Pursues Godliness" (4/2/17)
Nearly every sport that involves a ball requires that teams have both a defense and an offense. Every church needs to defend against false teaching and divisive members, while also having a good offense of supporting gospel called ministers and living productively in the community.

Titus 3:1-8- "Grace Saves Us to Do Good" (3/26/17)
What is salvation and in what sense are we really saved at all? We see in this text that we are saved from godlessness, we are saved for glory, and we are saved to do good while we remain here in this world. Once we understand the wonder of our salvation, we can then live the changed lives Christ wants us to in this life.

Titus 2:11-15- "Grace Teaches Us to be Godly" (3/19/17)
Is it really possible to be godly? After all, most of the time we all feel hard-wired to be sinful. In this text, the Apostle explains how grace not only transforms us through salvation, but also trains us how to resist our old sin nature and live godly and upright lives in the here and now.

Titus 2:1-10- "The Need for Godly Church Members" (3/12/17)
The church is full of hypocrites. That's an excuse many people give for little church attendance. But is it always an excuse? We often don't live like the redeemed people of God in our everyday lives. Our lips, actions, attitudes, and overall character don't always present the same message we communicate on Sunday mornings. In this text, Paul gives the expectations of church members for living godly lives so that we help the gospel spread instead of hindering it.

Titus 1:5-16- "The Need for Godly Church Leaders" (3/6/17)
How important is the character of a pastor? God's Word teaches that it is vital. A church will never rise above the godly character of their pastor, therefore it is essential that church leaders lead lives of godliness.

Titus 1:1-4- "Faith Leads to Godliness" (2/26/17)
Physical Amnesia is terrible, but spiritual amnesia is far worse. We all struggle with spiritual amnesia and need help remembering who we are and whose we are. In this introduction to the book of Titus, Paul reminds us of our identity, our salvation, and our task. It is only when we recall these Gospel truths at work in our lives that we can live in a way that truly pleases God.

Genesis 37-50- "Joseph" (2/12/17)
"Nothing good can come of this," is a phrase we've all used before (or at least thought) regarding an event brought on by sin or suffering. Yet in our study of the life of Joseph, we discover that God can use even the worst of tragedies for His purposes. Betrayal, slave-trading, false accusations, imprisonment, and famines are all things in this story which God used to accomplish His plan. Since God can use the worst tragedy of all, the cross of Christ, to accomplish His purposes, we can trust Him to work every trial in our lives for our good and His glory.

Genesis 25-36- "Jacob" (2/5/17)
Names are important. They are the first thing we learn about someone and usually the only thing about that person that never changes. That is, unless a person decides to change their name. While people can apply for a legal name change, only God can change a person's true identity. In the story of Jacob, we encounter a liar and trickster who was transformed when he met the living God. God changed Jacob's name to Israel and truly blessed him beyond his wildest imaginations, but only when he humbled himself before the Lord. If we wish to experience God's hand of blessing in our lives, we must humble ourselves before Him as well.

Genesis 24-26- "Isaac" (1/22/17)
In this sermon we study the life of Isaac and find the importance of persistence in prayer no matter what we face in life.

Genesis 12-23- "Abraham" (1/15/17)
Abraham is known in the New Testament as, "the father of all who believe." In this sermon we study the life of Abraham: his call, his sins, and his amazing faith. In our study, we learn that we also must learn to walk by faith in God's promise concerning His Son more than what our eyes can see. We also discover that God has called us out to follow Him, can use us despite our sins, and gives us the promise of His Word to believe.

Genesis 6-11- "Noah" (1/8/17)
How can God judge sin and yet save sinners at the same time? We find the answer to this question in the famous story of Noah and the flood. The real hero of this story isn't Noah, but God Almighty. God not only judged sin by punishing the world, but he also saved sinners by rescuing Noah and his family through the ark. The greatest refuge for sinners is the wood of the cross where God judged our sins on Jesus and saved sinners who trust in Christ.

Genesis 1-5- "Adam and Eve" (1/1/17)
Perhaps the best place to start at the beginning of a new year is the beginning of creation itself. In the first five chapters of Genesis we meet a God who creates out of nothing and creates people in His image. We also find out the beginnings of our sin problem and see God's promise to bring salvation through Jesus, the woman's offspring, who would crush the head of the serpent.

Luke 2:1-20- "The Birth of Jesus" (12/25/16)
Jesus' birth means for us salvation, hope, and eternal life. In this famous passage, we examine all that the birth of Christ truly means for our personal lives.

Psalm 110- "Jesus Will Reign Forever" (12/18/16)
In this Messianic psalm, we are encouraged to not lose heart when it seems evil is winning in the world. Since Jesus will reign forever as King, all evil will one day bow at His feet. Since Jesus will reign forever as Priest, all believers have a sure and certain refuge in His blood.

Psalm 13- "How Long, O Lord" (12/416)
In this text we learn the importance of voicing our anxieties to God. The psalms are meant to give words to our various emotions and concerns and this psalm speaks to the emotion of feeling abandoned by God.

Psalm 100- "Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good" (11/20/16)
-This familiar psalm teaches us how to give thanks, reminding us that God is full of steadfast love and faithfulness toward his people. Since our God is the only God and is also our Father and Shepherd, we can give thanks to him in all circumstances and at all times.

Mark 15:42-16:8- "The Son Has Risen!" (11/13/16)
-In this sermon we conclude our study of Mark on a high note with Jesus bursting forth from the grave, leaving the first witnesses astonished and fearful. We all are charged to rejoice, spread the good news, and live in the fear of God.

Mark 15:1-41- "What Was Happening At the Cross?" (11/6/16)
-We take a behind-the-scenes look at the crucifixion of Christ and discover there was a lot more going on than what meets the eye. At the cross, God was punishing his Son for our sins, Jesus was crushing Satan's power over us, and many other amazing truths. I hope this sermon will leave you in awe of Christ's work on the cross for sinners.

Mark 14.27-72- "Betrayed, Deserted, and Disowned" (10/30/16)
-We've all let down another person, but the worst has been when we feel we've let down God. In this account of Peter's denial, we learn that the secret to standing firm as Christians is by watching and praying, not the folly of self-confidence.

Mark 14:12-26- "The Last Supper" (10/23/16)
-We all love a family meal where that patriarch stands at the head of the table and shares how God has uniquely blessed our family. Jesus does just that in the Last Supper, only he adds a more somber and weighty tone when he says the bread and wine are his body and blood given. After we saw Jesus transform the Passover meal into the Lord's Supper, we celebrated it together as a church family.

Mark 14.1-11- "Costly Worship" (10/16/16)
-What is Jesus worth to you? That's the question we dive into during this story in our study of the Gospel according to Mark. Mary, Lazarus' brother, is so overwhelmed with love for her Savior that she expresses it in extravagant and costly worship. Since we understand Christ's saving grace this side of the cross, we have all the more reason to express costly worship too.

Mark 13:1-37- "Keeping Watch till That Day" (10/2/16)
-We know that Jesus is coming back soon, but how should that really change the way we live our daily lives? In this sermon, Christ warns us to stay alert, keep watch, and be on guard until his return, so we unpack what that looks like on a regular basis.

Mark 12:13-44- "Fake Religion & True Saving Faith" (9/25/16)
-What is the difference between hypocritical religion and true saving faith? Jesus warns against the first and encourages us to practice the second. Israel's religious leadership had religion, but not God. The poor widow, however, had true saving faith.

Mark 11.1-12.12- "The King Has Come...to Die" (9/18/16)
-What does Jesus want from us when he comes again? This question is answered for us in Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Some welcome him, others aren't ready for him, and still others want him dead. But we must worship him and bear the fruit of changed lives.

Mark 10:46-52- "A Blind Man, the Son of David, and Us" (9/11/16)
-Most of us remember clearly where we were and what we were doing when the towers fell on 9/11, but we may not remember the details of our conversion. In this account of Jesus healing a blind man, we are able to see a portrait of a disciple, from conversion to their daily walk with Christ. By taking a look at the marks of a disciple from this blind man's healing we're able to see how we've been saved and how we're called to maintain our spiritual growth.

Mark 10:32-45- "The Cross & True Servanthood" (9/4/16)
-Mother Teresa was granted the title of saint today because of her many acts of service, but what is the greatest act of service one can perform? In our text today Jesus explains that the greatest act of service was the cross he bore to pay our ransom. In this third lesson to his disciples of his coming death, Jesus once again pulls them aside for a lesson in discipleship 101. Jesus teaches the glory-hungry disciples that true greatness is found in lowly service, not exalted positions of power.

Mark 10:13-31- "How to Enter God's Kingdom" (8/28/16)
-Everybody wants to go to heaven...and most people think they're headed there. Instead of comforting us all that we're on the way to heaven, however, Jesus confronts us and charges us to ensure we're headed there at all. To be the kind of people that will enter God's kingdom in the future, we must be those who receive the gospel like a child and who part with every idol in their lives and keep Jesus at the center of their lives.

Mark 10:1-12- "Will God Let Me Get A Divorce?" (8/21/16)
-In an age when divorce and remarriage seem as common as getting a new car, its important that we consider Jesus' opinion on the issue. Jesus goes against the opinion of the religious leaders in his day who focus more on what God allows than what God commands. Instead of living our lives always wondering, "What God will let us get away with and still be Christians?", we should be asking the question, "How can I best glorify God since I am a Christian?" In this passage, we discover that divorce is so wrong because God's love toward us in Christ is so unbreakable.

Mark 9.38-50- "Fight for Your Life" (8/14/16)
-What should we do when we find ourselves harboring sinful patterns in our lives? Jesus says we should fight for our very lives, because our eternal destiny is at stake. Jesus charges us to "cut off" hands and "pluck out" eyes in our fight against indwelling sin, because it is better to enter life crippled than to be thrown into hell. Since of course Jesus was speaking with hyperbole to exaggerate the radical nature of sin, we examine what exactly it means to kill sin in our lives. We see the rich reward of serving in Christ's name, the terrible punishment of leading others into sin, and the charge that we fight against any sin that threatens our spiritual well-being before it chokes out all spiritual life.

Mark 9:30-37- "What is True Greatness?" (7/31/16)
-Nobody wants to live an insignificant life. We all long for significance and meaning, but we cannot find it by using others to serve ourselves. We must use our talents in the service of others in order to be truly great. Jesus gives us the picture of true greatness as humility which serves others in their greatest need, then the disciples reveal a flawed view of greatness as pridefully serving self first, and finally Jesus calls us to follow him in humbling ourselves to serve others and ultimately God.

Mark 9:14-29- "The Power of Christ" (7/24/16)
-Life is full of problems that are too big for us to handle. When we attempt to handle our problems in our own strength, we will fail. In our text today, Mark teaches us that Jesus is more powerful than every problem we face, so we must repent of all self-reliance, pray for more faith in his power, and live in constant dependence upon him.

Mark 9:1-13- "The Transfiguration" (7/17/16)
-How do we know for sure that Jesus will return again? The Transfiguration was a preview of the future return of Christ and was meant to give us Christ followers the reassurance that Jesus will come again in glory. We see in our text how Jesus shines, Peter fumbles, and the Father clarifies, then Jesus gives us a few practical takeaways for how we should live in this world until he comes again.

Mark 8.31-38- "Take Up Your Cross" (7/10/16)
-Can you be a Christian and live like the rest of the world? Jesus powerfully calls us along with his original disciples to a life that is remarkably different from the world's way of thinking. Since Jesus would go to a cross for us, he commands that all his disciples take up their own cross and die to self in this world. We learn the important lesson that if we save our lives in this world we will lose our souls for eternity.

Mark 8:1-33- "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" (7/3/16)
-Some people can be very near Jesus and yet not see him as glorious. In this passage, Jesus warns us against having such spiritual blindness as the Pharisees and sometimes the disciples, who didn't understand Jesus' true identity.

Psalm 139:23-24- "Search Me, O God" (6/26/16)
-In this VBS kick-off sermon, we took a look at Psalm 139:23-24. We often assume that our ideas and opinions are the best, but Scripture reminds us that God has the final say and since we're so prone to sin, we should invite his heart-searching eye to evaluate our intentions at all times. 

Deuteronomy 6:4-9- "God's Blueprint for Dad" (6/19/16)
-What is the job of a dad? Better yet, what is God's blueprint for Dad? In our culture, men are known for disengaging themselves from family life the moment they walk in from work. Picture a man with beer in one hand, TV remote in another, and a few potato chips laying on his stomach and thats the American dad. But God has a very different idea of true masculinity; one that calls fathers to know and love him more than anything else and to impress their children to do likewise. Join us as we discover God's blueprint for dads.

Mark 7:31-37- "Be Opened!" (6/12/16)
-How can we help the broken people in our lives if they seem deaf to the message of the Gospel? By continuing to share the gospel with them knowing that it is by this very message that their spiritually deaf ears will open. Join us as we encounter a deaf and mute man who discovers the power of the word of Christ and goes about zealously proclaiming it himself.

Mark 7:24-30- "Jesus Loves Unclean Sinners" (5/29/16)
-If Jesus is so sinless and our hearts are so full of sin, he must not want to associate with us right? Wrong. Jesus proves his love for unclean sinners like us in this encounter with a Syro-Phoenician woman whose daughter is demon-possessed. There are no unclean sinners too far for Jesus that he can't reach with his love. 

Mark 7:1-23- "The Heart is the Root of All Evil" (5/22/16)
-Should we really follow our hearts? This advice, often given to teens hoping to choose the right school or career path, is actually unbiblical. Jesus teaches us that the heart is the root of all evil and that no amount of religious activity can cleanse it. Only a supernatural work of the Spirit of God in regenerating that heart can change it.

Psalm 51- "Coming Clean" [Preached at Dillon First Presbyterian] (5/15/16)
-What happens when a believer refuses to confess their sins to God? They lose the joy of their salvation, suffer from a nagging conscience, lose all their zeal for worship and evangelism, and more terrible side effects. In this perhaps most memorable Psalm, David confesses and forsakes his sins and finds the forgiveness he needs in God's own good character. We are challenged to do likewise.

Mark 6.30-56- "Failing to See the Obvious" (5/15/16)
-Is it possible to know the power of Christ and yet be blind to its reality each day because of the other concerns you have in life? We learn here from the disciples that this is sadly too often the truth. Here we will be challenged to behold the glory of Christ and live lives that put our solid faith in Christ on clear display.

2 Timothy 3.14-17- "Continue in What You've Learned" (5/8/16)
-How valuable is a godly mother and grandmother? Paul reminds Timothy they are invaluable because of the huge impact they made on young Timothy's life. In this text Paul charges Timothy to remember these two women in his life and live in a way that honors their commitment to him.

Mark 6:14-29- "John's Death and the Shadow of Calvary" (5/1/16)
-In this account of the death of John the Baptist, we learn that John's death is very similar to his life and message, because it was not about him but about Jesus. The main character in John's death isn't John or Herod, but the crucified Jesus whose death casts a shadow on this whole story. Mark prepares us for the death of Jesus by describing the death of John the Baptist. In this story, we learn the importance of standing for the truth even when it costs.

Mark 6:6b-13- "Christ's Mission for Your Life" (4/24/16)
-We all know Jesus sent out his twelve disciples on mission, but we struggle when it comes to his mission for our lives. In this text we consider seven principles from Jesus regarding his mission for our lives and it involves us going out to spread his fame and reign in this world.

Mark 6:1-6a- "The One Thing that Astonishes Jesus" (4/17/16)
-Throughout Mark's gospel we've seen people astonished over the identity of Jesus, but only this are the tables turned and Jesus is left astonished. What causes Jesus to be so astonished? The unbelief of his own townsfolk who stumble over his identity as the Son of God. Unwilling to repent of sin and trust in Jesus' authority, his townspeople reject him from being king over them. This is a chilling passage meant to remind us of the necessity of responding properly to Jesus.

Homecoming- Guest Preacher Donald Foreman- Luke 16 (4/10/16)

Mark 5:21-43- "Jesus is Lord Over Disease and Death" (4/3/16)
-In this last of four encounters with the lordship of Jesus, we find him displaying his authority over disease and death. God's Word challenges us to be learn from Jairus and a bleeding woman the importance of bringing to Jesus all our hopelessness, trusting in his power to save, and considering his great compassion for sinners. May you come in desperate faith to this tender Redeemer and leave amazed by his authority.

Matthew 27:62-28:15- "The Big Cover-Up" (3/27/16)
-The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the entire Christian faith. If the man Jesus of Nazareth lay dead in a tomb the Scripture declares our faith to be totally pointless. In this text we examine the way some who were there on that first Easter morning and were eyewitnesses to Christ's resurrection could go on to deny it ever happened. The guards at the tomb, the chief priests, and the Pharisees knew Christ arose and yet were persuaded by self-glory and wealth to live otherwise and say it didn't happen. Many today believe Jesus arose from the grave and yet do not live like he is the Lord of glory because they don't want him to reign supreme in their lives. We are challenged to let the light of Christ's glory shine in our hearts and bow to his Lordship in every area of our lives.

Sermon at Dillon First Presbyterian Church -1 Peter 1:6-9- "Persevering through Trials with Joy" (3/13/16)
-Is it possible to persevere through trials while maintaining our joy in Christ? The Apostle Peter tells us this is possible only when we remember that our trials are short-lived, God-guided, and faith-building. During this Sunday evening service we learn what it means to weigh everything in life on the scale of eternity, trust in God's sovereignty, and view our trials as God's means of purifying our faith for heaven.

Mark 5:1-20- "Jesus is Lord Over Demons" (3/13/16)
-Are demons real and do they hold power over real people still? Despite what our society may tell us, Mark reveals to us the real power of demons, while revealing the far greater authority of Jesus. Although demons can destroy people's lives, they cower in fear before the Lord Jesus. Because Christ has defeated every evil power at the cross and resurrection, we can now live in victory over the demonic realm.

Mark 4:35-41- "Jesus is Lord Over Nature" (3/6/16)
-Now that Jesus has taught us four parables regarding the kingdom of God, he reveals himself as the King come by four miracles. We will learn how Jesus is Lord over nature, demons, disease, and death. In this particular message, we take a look at Jesus' lordship over nature as he silences a storm with two words and leaves his disciples overawed at his power and glory.

Mark 4:26-34- "God's Growing Kingdom" (2/28/16)
-If Jesus is right about how three out of four types of people do not receive the seed of the gospel in good soil and thus bear no lasting fruit, then how can we expect his small kingdom to grow in this sinful world? Is it true that the Christian faith will soon be eradicated from the earth? In this sermon we learn from Jesus that the growth of God's kingdom will be mysterious and yet monumental, so that one day people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language will be represented in heaven.

1 Corinthians 13- "What is Christian Love?" (2/14/16)
-The world's view of love is superficial and fleeting. But the love of God endures forever. Often read at weddings, the love chapter was actually written to a church having unity problems and is important for all churches to consider in the way they relate with one another. In this chapter, we see how love alone is essential, evident, and eternal.

Mark 4:21-25- "Be Careful How You Hear" (1/31/16)
-God has hard-wired each of us with five senses with which to receive the wonders of creation, but the most important receiver is our heart's reception of the glorious gospel message concerning Christ. Many of us think we're open to God's message, when we're really letting it go in one ear and out the other. We must be careful that our hearts are truly receiving all that God is for us in Jesus. Those whose hearts receive the kingdom come in Jesus will be given more light, while those whose hearts have grown dull to it will have all light removed and be left in eternal darkness.

Mark 4:1-20- "Which Soil Are You?" (1/24/16)
-Why is it that some people can hear the gospel proclaimed clearly and walk away totally unchanged, while others who hear the same message can be eternally gripped and transformed into a new person? In what is commonly called the Parable of the Sower, Jesus teaches us that there are four responses the human heart can have towards his gospel and charges us to examine the soil of our heart to ensure it promotes gospel growth and isn't a hindrance to it.

Psalm 127- "Children: Burden or Blessing?" (1/17/16)
-We say that we believe the words, "children are a blessing from the Lord" and we would staunchly defend the right to life, challenging all who support abortion. But we often treat children outside the womb with less respect than we do children in the womb. In this psalm, we are challenged to consider the truth that God has given children as a gift and we ought to cherish them and raise them well.

Psalm 90:15-17- "Establish the Work of Our Hands" (1/10/16)
-We finished our study of Psalm 90 and were reminded that these six prayers Moses leads God's people to pray reveal not only our inability to do anything worthwhile without God, but also God's power to use our meager efforts to echo on in eternity.

Psalm 90:1-14- "Teach Us to Number Our Days" (1/3/16)
*THE SERMON AUDIO BEGINS AT 7:52 AND ENDS AT 32:18*
-Every new year brings with it a renewed resolve in our hearts to do better than the last year. In this first sermon of the new year, we learn that the best place to start the year is on our face before the Lord of glory. Once we get a glimpse of how eternal God is and how temporary we are, then we can pray for the kind of things God wants. We take a look at the first three of six prayers Moses leads God's people to pray. We'll look at the last three prayers next week.

Galatians 4:1-6- "This Baby Would Make Sons out of Slaves" (12/20/15)
-In this sermon just prior to Christmas, we were able to see that Jesus came to earth because he was sent by the Father to pay our ransom, free us from our slavery to sin, and adopt us into God's family.

Matthew 20:28- "This Baby Would Pay Our Ransom" (12/6/15)
-On this Communion Sunday we looked at the manger from the perspective of the cross. Jesus taught us that his coming to earth as a baby was not for the comfort of being served by us, but in order to serve us by means of his death. By dying in our place on the cross, Jesus paid our ransom in his life's blood and freed us to worship God.

Mark 3:20-35- "This Baby Would Free Sinners from Satan's Grasp" (11/29/15)
-This first Sunday of Advent, we began a series on the baby in the manger. This Sunday we take a look at Christ's power to bind the devil and release his captives. We learn that Jesus cannot be avoided, ought not be rejected, and will not be manipulated. We must accept Jesus and what he has come to do for sinners or we must reject him. There is no fence-riding or bargaining with the Son of God, only humble acceptance and faith.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57- "Thanks be to God!" (11/22/15)
-With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is important for us to consider the greatest reason to give thanks; namely, the person and work of Jesus Christ. His perfect life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection is the greatest reason for us to give thanks.

Mark 3:7-19- "Jesus Chooses Twelve" (11/15/15)
-What made Jesus choose the group that would be his apostles? From a human perspective, this group of twelve seems to be a very odd bunch for one determined to impact the world. Yet surprisingly in Jesus' choosing of the twelve apostles we learn a lot about the way he saves sinners. Jesus chooses these by his sovereign grace, for his kingdom purposes, and in his perfect wisdom.

Mark 2:18-3:6- "Jesus in the Hot Seat" (11/8/15)
-How will Jesus respond when the religious leaders of his day accuse him of breaking God's law and even begin plotting to kill him? Jesus responds not with retaliation, but with an honest and unbelievable explanation of his identity. He exposes himself as God the Bridegroom incarnate come to rescue his wayward bride and as Lord of the Sabbath come to bring healing to those in desperate need.

Ephesians 3:14-21- "Prayer: Experiencing God's Power" (11/1/15)
-Wouldn't it be great to eavesdrop on Paul praying for the churches he planted? This is exactly what we have in Ephesians 3:14-21. We learn from Paul's pray for the church at Ephesus a few very important truths regarding prayer. We see how to pray (the right posture), what to pray (the right petitions), and why to pray (the right perspective).

Mark 2:13-17- "Jesus Came for Sinners" (10/25/15)
-Is anyone too far gone for God to save? Ask a hated tax collector from the first century and you'll get a good idea. Matthew, or Levi, as Mark calls him, was as lost as they come and yet Jesus transformed his life and made him into a disciple that turned the world upside down. Since Jesus came for sinners, we shouldn't assume anyone is too far gone for him, we should introduce all our friends to him, and we should never forget how lost we were without him.

Mark 2:1-12- "Jesus has Authority to Forgive Sins" (10/18/15)
-Can faith in Jesus really save me from my sin problem against God? We see the powerful answer that it can in one paralyzed man's encounter with Jesus. The man comes to Jesus hoping for physical healing and walks away with spiritual and physical wholeness. 

Mark 1:35-45- "Jesus is Famous & Can't Even Help It!" (10/11/15)
-Is it possible to be famous and yet avoid all the fanfare as much as possible? This is exactly the case with Jesus. Even though he seemingly attempts to minimize his fame, he actually ends up receiving more glory than ever. Jesus' fame spreads even when he tries to escape for private prayer, silence a healed leper, and avoid crowded places. If we wish to spread the fame of Jesus in our daily lives, we can learn from the accounts of Jesus' prayer life and his healing of the leper what it really means to be his disciple.

Mark 1:21-34- "The Authority of Jesus" (10/4/15)
-There have been many authorities out there who dominate in one particular field, but only one Authority trumps them all...Jesus. Mark shows us how people stood in awe at his teaching, demons fled at his command, and multitudes were healed at his touch. Come join us as we learn how best to live under Jesus' authority instead of being our own authority.

Mark 1:16-20- "Fishers of Men" (9/27/15)
-What does it really mean to be a follower of Jesus? In our text today Mark shows us that it requires us leaving everything to follow after him in a completely new way of life and joining his work of evangelizing the world.

Mark 1:14-15- "The Gospel of God" (9/20/15)
-We all love good news, but the only news that could truly be labelled "good" is news from God that our sin problem has been solved. In this text Mark shows us how the gospel means a new day has dawned, the gospel was God's idea from the start, and the gospel commands a response from each of us.

Mark 1.9-13- "You Are My Son" (9/13/15)
-Why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized and then tempted by the devil in the wilderness? We see from our text that Jesus was declared to be God's Son at his baptism and then proved to be God's Son through his temptation. This changes everything for us: we now have access to God, victory over Satan, and help in our temptations.

Mark 1:1-8- "Make Way for Jesus!" (9/6/15)
-In this first sermon in our study through the Gospel according to Mark, we saw how God rolled out the red carpet for his Son Jesus through the ministry of John the Baptist. Join us in listening to God's word as we see how God's Son came in fulfillment of Scripture, with a grand introduction, and bringing the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12- "Why the Cross?" (8/30/15)
*this sermon audio begins at about 4:40 and ends about 38:20*
-Why did Jesus have to suffer the way he did? This is the question Isaiah answers in grave detail 700 years before the event of Jesus' crucifixion. The death of Christ was God's perfect plan to save sinners, but we must be faithful to share its message with the world if we wish to see its very purposes fulfilled. At the cross, Jesus exchanged all his righteousness for all our sin and bore God's holy wrath in a way none of us can fathom because of God's great love for sinners like us.

Psalm 78:1-8- "We Will Tell the Next Generation" (8/23/15)
-In this sermon we take a look at God's command for us to pass the baton of the gospel on to the next generation. We cannot avoid the divine command of God to teach the next generation about the Lord God by hiding behind excuses like, "They aren't my kids", or "I'm too old to help in that field". Since past generations of believers shared the gospel with us, we are indebted to them to share it with future generations, or else we'll be withholding the only means to their joy and eternal life.

Ephesians 2:1-10- "Raised from the Grave" (8/16/15)
-What is fallen man's condition? Is the problem with mankind that we are simply uneducated or we need a little boost of self-esteem? Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells the church at Ephesus that the problem is much worse than that…we are spiritually dead and in need of Divine Rescue. Paul calls us to boast in God for the work of salvation by teaching us who we were, what God did, and how to respond to God for what he did in us.

1 Peter 5:8-14- "Our Adversary and Our Advocate" (8/9/15)
-In this last sermon from our 1 Peter series, we heard Peter's warning regarding our adversary the devil and his encouragement regarding our Advocate coming to rescue us. We learned that we must always be on our watchtower so that we are aware of our enemy after us and our Savior's soon return to redeem us.

1 Peter 5:1-4- "How Should a Pastor Lead?" (7/26/15)
-Many people have ideas of the role of the pastor, but what does the Bible actually say about this important role? In this text, Peter charges pastors to shepherd God's flock in a God-honoring way: one of willingness, eager service, and leading by example. We look at the pastor's job description, work ethic, and payday to come at the return of Christ.

Psalm 46- "God is Our Refuge" (7/19/15)
-After a tragic loss of a 17 year old church member and the death of another beloved former deacon, we took a break from 1 Peter to study a psalm that challenges us to find our refuge in God amidst the storms of life. Since God is our refuge, no storm is too great for him to handle and Jesus endured the storm of God's wrath against our sin so that we might have him as our refuge.

1 Peter 4:12-19- "When Persecution Rises in America, Rejoice" (7/5/15)
-In this Independence Day weekend sermon, we hear God's eternally relevant word speak into our lives regarding how to respond when a society increases its persecution of believers. 239 years after our forefathers declared their independence from Britain for religious liberty, we are seeing this liberty they died to earn stripped from us and it is vital that we not respond with shock, selfishness, or silence.

1 Peter 4:7-11- "Living on the Edge of Eternity" (6/28/15)
-After Friday's Supreme Court decision that re-defined marriage across the nation, God spoke to us powerfully from our continued study of 1 Peter. We are to live our lives as though we were on the edge of eternity and Christ's return were imminent. This means we are to be prayer warriors and love one another with the love God has poured out into our lives in Jesus…all for the glory of his great name!

Psalm 1- "The Blessed Man" (6/21/15)
-This Father's Day we took a look at the kind of man God considers blessed. The godly man is known not only for avoiding life by the world, but also for pursuing life by the word. We are reminded that there are only of one two camps we can belong to and the end result is whether or not we will prosper or perish eternally.

1 Peter 4:1-6- "Serving God While Time Remains" (6/14/15)
-We have all been guilty of wasting time in our lives, but Peter gives us some much needed counsel regarding how we can best utilize our time for the glory of God. It is only when we have the mind of Christ and give up living the "Do what feels good" sort of life that we can then truly redeem the time we have left.

1 Peter 3:18-22- "Salvation through God's Judgment at the Cross" (6/7/15)
-We must proclaim the age old message of the gospel to our generation…the same one Noah preached to those of his generation thousands of years ago. The content of the message we preach? "God's judgment is coming! Come by the way of the wood and escape the just punishment for your sins before its too late." In our day, we call people to seek refuge from the wrath of God against their sins in the cross-work of Christ, for it is only there that our sins have been fully dealt with and punished and we who were far off can be brought near to God.

1 Peter 3:8-17- "Relating to the Church & Reacting to the World" (5/31/15)
-Getting along well in the body of Christ is not just an in-home matter, but a living witness to the outside world. We are to relate well in the church with those who love us, but we are also to react in a godly way toward unbelievers who persecute us.

1 Peter 3:7- "Understanding and Honorable Husbands" (5/17/15)
-In this text, we saw Peter's charge for husbands to submit to Christ in the way they lead their wives. Us husbands are to lead in love and service, not domineering or commanding our wives. We are to use the special role God has placed us in to better understand and love them.

1 Peter 3:1-6- "The Power, Beauty, and Faith of a Submissive Wife" (5/10/15)
-In this Mother's Day sermon, we examined Peter's call to wives that lies at the root of what being a good mom is. Although culturally unpopular in our day, submission of wives to the leadership (all be it flawed!) of their husbands is a beautiful thing to God and is the way in which those women can best live out the gospel before an unbelieving world.

1 Peter 2:18-25- "When Submission Leads to Suffering" (5/3/15)
-It is easy to talk about submitting to those who are in authority over us when those authorities are fellow believers who treat us well, but what about when your employer is an unbeliever who not only doesn't like you, but treats you unfairly? Peter calls Christians to live out the gospel before there unbelieving authority figures by submitting to even the harshest of them and enduring wrongful persecution like Christ endured the mistreatment of the cross for us.

1 Peter 2:13-17- "Christians and the Government" (4/19/15)
-Peter gave some challenging words to these first century believers and us twenty-first century believers when he called us to submit to our governing authorities, despite there godlessness.

1 Peter 2:11-12- "Living Like You're Headed Home" (4/12/15)
-In this Homecoming sermon we saw how believers are to live like temporary residents on the way to heaven both in their personal lives and public lives. 

Mark 16:1-8- "He Has Risen! He is Not Here"(4/5/15)
-This Resurrection Sunday as we celebrated the empty tomb we took a look at the ending to Mark's gospel and followed the women on that first Easter morning as they went to the tomb, into the tomb, and fled back out of the tomb, and we were able to discover how this historical event changes everything about our lives 2,000 years later.

Mark 15:33-47- "God-forsaken" (3/29/15)
-This Palm Sunday we took a look at the apex of God's plan to save sinners: the cross of Christ. We saw how on the cross, both God's wrath and God's favor were poured out and how we should respond to this glorious news.

1 Peter 2:9-10- "We are His Possession for His Praise" (3/22/15)
-In this text, the Apostle Peter answers for us three questions that are vital for us: who does God say we are? What does God want from us? And why does God deserve it from us? Since we are God's possession, we are to live for God's praise all because of God's great pity towards us in Christ.

1 Peter 2:4-8- "Living Stones Founded on the Living Stone" (3/15/15)
-Peter here compares born-again believers to the temple in the Old Testament, which was the dwelling place of God with men, and reminds us that we are founded upon the cornerstone of the Lord Jesus. He explains that those who refuse to trust their soul's to Jesus the cornerstone will find themselves tripping over Him to their eternal destruction. We must come to the Living Stone, build our lives on the Living Stone, and not stumble over the Living Stone.

1 Peter 1:22-2:3- "The Gospel & the New Birth" (3/8/15)
-In our text this morning, Peter helped us to see the strong connection between the word of the gospel and the new life God has given to us upon conversion. We are to live out the gospel in love, hold out the gospel that endures, and feast on the gospel that gives spiritual growth.

1 Peter 1:13-21- "Called to be Holy" (2/22/15)
-Peter calls us today to respond to the greatness of our salvation with a life of hope-filled holiness. We are to live with readied hope and reverent holiness in light of the wondrous grace that has come to us from such a holy God at the cost of the lifeblood of his only Son.

1 Peter 1:10-12- "Our Salvation: The Longing of Prophets and Angels" (2/8/15)
-In this text, Peter reminded us how grateful we should be for our salvation since both prophets and angels have longed to enjoy it but could not. We learn some practical ways we can ensure we never yawn at the salvation that prophets and angels yearned over.

1 Peter 1:6-9- "Glorious Joy Thru Grievous Trials" (2/1/15)
-In this sermon in our series on 1 Peter, we discover how we can rejoice in our salvation while undergoing grievous trials. Peter reminds us that our trials are short-lived, God-guided, and faith-building and that God even uses the trials in our lives as a primary tool for conforming us to the image of Jesus in this life.

Psalm 16- "The Pathway to Ever-Increasing Joy" (1/18/15)
-This was a brief sermon I preached at a nearby A.M.E. church that I am invited to every year and had a great time of fellowship with these brothers and sisters in Christ. This sermon focuses primarily on a few verses in the text regarding the pathway to ever-increasing sorrow vs. the pathway to ever-increasing joy.

Psalm 106:34-48- "Abortion: The Shedding of Innocent Blood" (1/18/15)
-On this special occasion of the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we took a look at God's opinion on the practice of child sacrifice and how this occurs today in the form of abortion, with around 45 million of our own native citizens executed for the sake of personal freedom every year.

1 Peter 1:3-5- "Born Again to a Living Hope" (1/11/15)
-In this sermon we see how Peter unpacks for us the hope that is laid up for all God's people in heaven. Not only is our inheritance in heaven kept secure for us by God's power, but we ourselves are kept secure by God's power for our inheritance in heaven. Our hope was born at the new birth, is alive through Christ's resurrection, and is secure by God's power.

1 Peter 1:1-2- "Chosen by God, Strangers in the World" (1/4/15)
-This first sermon in our series on 1 Peter we learned our place in God's heart and our place in a fallen world. Peter calls us elect exiles, implying that we have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world and our entire earthly existence is lived out in a land not our home. When we grasp the wonder of God's electing love, it will lead to deep humility, a stronger faith, a more consistent prayer life, and a confidence in evangelism.

Isaiah 6:1-8- Ordination Service for Michael Williams to Deacon Ministry (12/28/14)
-This Sunday was a special ordination service for Michael Williams into deacon ministry. I preached from Isaiah 6:1-8 and we saw how the overflowing response of service to God only comes from a heart that has come to grasp the holiness of God, the sinfulness of ourselves apart from him, the beauty of Christ's atoning death for sinners, and the invitation of an all-sufficient God for us to join in his work.

Matthew 1:18-25- "God Became a Man to Save Sinners" (12/21/14)
-In this Christmas morning sermon, we take a look at the birth of the long-expected Messiah. The birth of Christ in Joseph's shoes reveals just how shocking it was to receive the news that this baby not only isn't his child, it is God's only Son come to save his people from their sins.

Psalm 2- "God Became a Man to Reign as Our King Forever" (12/7/14)
-In this sermon, we see the birth of King Jesus from another perspective…that of his plan to reign as our perfect King forever. We see from Psalm 2 that King Jesus is God's chosen One, King Jesus is king of the nations, and King Jesus is our final judge. Although the audio cuts short, leaving out the positive element found in the last phrase of Psalm 2, we are taught the sheer blessing of seeking refuge from God's judgment in the shed blood of Jesus. 

Leviticus 16:20-22- "God Became a Man to Bear Our Sins Away" (11/30/14)
-In this sermon in our series "Why God Became a Man", we look at the gospel portrait found in the Day of Atonement. Jesus is both our high priest, atoning for our sins by his sacrificial death so we can enter God's holy presence, and he is our scapegoat, bearing our sins away so we can live the Christian life victorious and joyful. What should our response to this glorious gospel be? humble obedience, confident prayer, and a life of holiness.

Colossians 3:17- "Gratitude- Our Life's Response to the Grace of God in the Gospel" (11/24/14)
-This is the Thanksgiving message given at the Latta Ellis Performing Arts Center for the Dillon County Christian Ministerial Alliance. We see in Colossians 3:17 God's command to give thanks comes after his amazing grace has been revealed. Only when we have come to get grace can we get gratitude.

Exodus 12- "God Became a Man to Die In Our Place, Shedding His Life's Blood for Us" (11/23/14)
-The Passover Lamb of the Old Testament that set God's people free in the Exodus was a picture of Jesus' perfect sacrifice on our behalf to set us free to worship him in an even greater exodus from sin and Satan. We see in Exodus 12 five reasons to thank God for Jesus.

Genesis 22- "God Became a Man to Lay Down His Life for Us" (11/16/14)
-In this message we prepare our hearts for Christmas by reflecting on how Abraham's offering of his only beloved son Isaac on the altar is a picture for us of God's offering of his only beloved Son Jesus on the cross. We see the gospel from three different perspectives: the Father who is to sacrifice his only beloved Son, the Son who is to obey his loving Father and be the sacrifice, and we who are to receive the grace of God from the Lamb being provided to die in our place.

Genesis 3:15- "God Became a Man to Crush the Serpent" (11/9/14)
-In this first sermon in our series entitled "Why God Became A Man", we begin preparing our hearts for the wonder of Jesus' birth by looking at the first among many glimpses of the gospel in the Old Testament. Although God's curse on the serpent in Genesis 3 seems obscure to many believers, theologians have long considered it the "first gospel", because it tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin to destroy the work of the devil and sin's curse that stood over us. As believers, Jesus' death and resurrection defeated Satan's power of condemnation and released us from sin's bondage, so we ought to live victorious lives that are a threat to the kingdom of darkness in this world.

Fall Revival 2014 with Elbert Smith:
-Sunday night- "Christ is Lord of God's Amazing Grace"
-Monday night- "Christ is Lord of Final Destiny" 
-Tuesday night- "Christ is Lord of His Church"
-Wednesday night- "Christ is Lord of Life's Storms"

Acts 4:23-31- "Prayer: How Revival Starts" (11/2/14)
-This second sermon in preparation for our revival gives us a glimpse of the always on fire NT church and what happened in order for the Holy Spirit to fill them with boldness in evangelism. We also will see certain ingredients that are vital for every true revival from this little slice of the NT church. 

Revelation 3:14-22- "Jesus' Charge to the Lukewarm Church" (10/26/14)
-In preparation for our Fall Revival services, we examined why there is a need for revival at all and what genuine revival really is. In these words of the risen Lord Jesus Christ to the lukewarm church at Laodicea in John's day, we see a bit of ourselves and a challenge for us to get on fire for Christ. Jesus identifies our true spiritual condition, calls us to zealous repentance, and gives us sweet promises if we will turn from our lethargic faith in broken-hearted repentance and let Him have His way among us.

Matthew 7:24-29- "What Foundation Are You Building On?" (10/19/14)
-Concluding his Sermon On the Mount, Jesus calls us to respond and warns that hearing that is not combined with obedience will result in destruction. By giving us a parable of two men building two houses on two foundations, he teaches that only the man whose life bears the evidence of being founded on Jesus and displays the lifestyle Jesus taught in the Sermon On the Mount will stand the storms of life and judgment. All those who have built nice houses, but don't show the evidence of living out the Sermon On the Mount are not founded on Jesus, but on the shifting sands of self, which will come crashing down upon them one day.

Matthew 7:21-23- "Four Words You Never Want to Hear" (10/12/14)
-Jesus warns us not only of being deceived by false teachers, but now also of being deceived ourselves about our salvation. He shocks us by stating that not all who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior will enter heaven and that many who have done great things for Jesus will still be condemned on Judgment Day. Jesus teaches of the faulty foundations of our words, our actions, and our understanding, and leaves us with a chilling reminder that only a personal, saving knowledge of Jesus will save us from God's wrath on the Great Day of Judgment.

Matthew 7:15-20- "Beware of False Teachers" (10/5/14)
-In our day and age, we don't like excluding anyone from anything, but Jesus here warns us that there is one group that should be excluded at all costs: false teachers. Jesus gives us a stern warning here to steer clear of false teachers who will deceive and destroy both themselves and others. He helps us identify such false teachers and to ensure that we only listen to the truth taught from the Word of God.

Matthew 7:12-14- "Two Ways, Two Destinations" (9/28/14)
-Jesus now begins concluding His famous Sermon on the Mount by calling us to decision. He first describes for us the Golden Rule, or the selfless way of the Savior. Then, Jesus warns us against the self-centered way of the world and contrasts this way with the believer's way by showing us they have two different gates, two different paths, two different groups to follow, and two very different destinations.

Matthew 7:7-11- "Ask, Seek, Knock" (9/21/14)
-In this text, Jesus commands us, from the posture of a loving God who knows what is best for us, to pray. His loving command is also a call to persistence in prayer with the promised result that God will hear and give us good things. As redeemed children of God adopted into His family through Christ, we are reminded that our God desires nothing more than to provide us with what we need to glorify Him.

Matthew 7:1-6- "Don't Judge Me…Wrongly" (9/14/14)
-Jesus warns us against the over-critical and judgmental spirit that we can have towards others at times, reminding us that we will be judged by a just and holy God on the last Day and we all deserve His condemnation, but He has graciously condemned His Son in the place of sinners. Then, after dealing with our tendency to sin by being overly critical, Jesus also warns us of being overly gracious with the holy truth of the gospel in situations where people repeatedly despise and reject its truth. We must learn to be both rich in mercy and rich in discernment to truly judge properly.

Matthew 6:25-34 -"The Worry-Free Life" (9/7/14)
-In this text, Jesus calls us away from the self-centered life of worry to a life of faith in God's faithful provision, fatherly love, and future grace. Because God is our faithful Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, worry is actually a rejection of His loving act on the cross and a denial of His sovereignty over us and compassion towards us.

Matthew 6:19-24- "How to Build Eternal Wealth" (8/31/14)
-In this sermon, our Lord Jesus teaches us the way not to waste our lives. He tells us that to waste our lives is to treasure/value/worship the things of this earth-bound, 80-or-something year life. He then tells us that to have true everlasting life, we should be about building our lives around Him and see that He is infinitely more valuable than the fleeting stuff of this life. By living for God's glory in our current earth-bound lives, we are storing up treasures and riches that will await us in eternity. Bottom line: If we treasure stuff more than God, we'll have neither for eternity. If we treasure God more than stuff, we'll enjoy both for all eternity.

Matthew 6:16-18- "When You Fast" (8/24/14)

-In this last of three spiritual disciplines Jesus highlights, we are called to a practice that is seldom practiced among believers in our day…fasting. We will learn here the way Jesus expects us to fast, Jesus warns us to fast for the right reasons, and lastly how we can begin fasting or continue the practice when it would help us in our walk with Christ.

Matthew 6:5-15- "How to Pray" (8/17/14)

-In this second of three spiritual disciplines that the Christian should regularly perform "in secret", or in a way that only God is our audience, we look at prayer. Jesus tells us what bad prayer looks like, then lays out for us the perfect model prayer which should guide all our prayers by first exalting God and then humbling ourselves before God.

Matthew 6:1-4- "Give in Secret" (8/3/14)

-In this sermon we begin a series on three of the spiritual disciplines Jesus highlights that should be the regular part of every believer's life, but that should be done in such a way that only God is the audience. We are all tempted, especially in the area of giving to the needy, to be driven by man's praise. Jesus here says that the primary way the true righteousness of His followers differs from the false righteousness of the religious leaders of His day was that believers don't do these things for the praise of others.

Matthew 5:43-48- "Love Your Enemies, Because God Loves His" (7/27/14)

-In this text, Jesus teaches us that we most resemble God when we love even our enemies and we most resemble the world when we love only our friends. So who do you most resemble? We are then called to pursue the perfect love of God, which is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit when we are in Christ.

Matthew 5:38-42- "Retaliation or Self-Denial?" (7/20/14)

-In this sermon we examine Jesus' controversial topic of what to do when others mistreat you. We see here that to "turn the other cheek" is actually the opposite of a weak, fearful, and passive way to live life, but is rather a bold and confident way to love others more than you love yourself. To respond to mistreatment to your own image in self-denial instead of self-defense requires a deep faith in God and an invincible joy in the gospel.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18- "Freed to Behold Christ's Glory" (7/6/14)

-In this Independence Day weekend sermon we get a glimpse of the spiritual freedom we have been given in Christ. We have been set free from our hard-hearted rebellion by the veil-lifting power of the Holy Spirit at conversion, all so that we may live each day beholding the glory of the Savior. Now that we have been freed to behold his glory, we must daily live our lives in awe of his glory and we in turn will be changed into his image the more we do so.

Matthew 5:33-37- "Honest to God" (6/29/14)

-In this sermon we examine Christ's words regarding oath-taking. We learn that God despises flippant oaths and calls us to a life that sees everything we say as under oath before a holy heart-searching God, for we will have to give an account for every careless word we speak at the judgment.

Matthew 5:31-32- "Jesus' Perspective on Divorce" (6/22/14)

-In this text, Jesus warns us that divorce is a cutting off of what God has joined together and he calls us to have marriages that reflect God's never ending love for us in Christ.

Matthew 5:27-30- "A Call to Radical Purity" (6/15/14)

-This Father's Day Sermon from our series on the Sermon on the Mount describes the inner heart purity that makes up the Christian walk. Lust is the opposite of a healthy love for God's creatures. Jesus calls us to a purity of radical amputation that cuts off that which causes any temptation to sin in this area.

Matthew 5:21-26- "God Loves Love and Hates Hate" (6/8/14)

-This sermon in our series on the Sermon On the Mount covers the depth to which God's Law confronts our sin. We will learn that God sees not only the external sinful actions we commit, like murder, as a breaking of his holy Law, but the internal motives and thoughts of our hearts that may never be externalized, like hate or bitterness or envy. We must not continue in these sinful attitudes, but reconcile with our enemies or we can never claim God's reconciliation over our lives in the gospel. Believing the gospel is evident in reconciled relationships and the presence of unconfessed hostility towards others calls to question our belief in the amazing grace given us in Christ.

Matthew 5:17-20- "The Law & the Gospel" (5/25/14)

-In this passage Jesus reveals how he has come to fulfill the law, God demands perfect obedience to the law, and how in Christ we are freed from the crushing burden of the law. Not only is the OT all about the atoning sacrifice of our loving Lord Jesus Christ and the freedom he provides, but its authoritative truth calls us to rest solely in the blood of Christ to atone for our sins and not our own efforts to keep God's Law. By the Spirit's indwelling of every believer we now can live in obedience to the law as we have come to love God from the heart and now the law is our delight. We now obey not out of need for salvation but because we have been given the saving grace of God in Christ.

Matthew 5:13-16- "Salt & Light: Different On Purpose" (5/18/14)

-In this sermon Jesus teaches that his kingdom people are different, then reveals how being different is actually the way he has designed us to impact the tasteless and darkened world we live in. As Christians, we can only fulfill our purpose in life by being "other than" the world in which we live. A Christian who hides their faith or fits in too closely with the world around them is like a tasteless salt or a lamp under a basket. We must shine out the difference Christ has made in us, for it is the greatest way we can impact lost people around us.

John 19:25-27- "The Greatest Gift A Mother Received" (5/11/14)

-In this passage we see Jesus' mother stand by her son at his death, him standing in for his mother through his death, and him commissioning John to stand up for her after his death.

John 15:1-17- "I Am the True Vine" (5/4/14)
-This is the last of seven "I Am" statements of Jesus in John's account of the gospel. Here Jesus says he has fulfilled everywhere that Israel failed to be God's vine. As the true vine, Jesus calls us to a life of connected-ness to him and promises abundant fruit as a result. Those without the fruit in their lives are called to connect to the vine or face the Father's judgment in Hell. This is both a comfort and a challenge to every branch out there to make sure we remain in the vine.

John 14:1-14- "I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (4/27/14)
-This is the sixth of Jesus' I Am statements in John. Here, Jesus breaks the news to his disciples that he is 'going away', leaving them troubled, then gives them a few reasons why his departure is great news for them and us today. Have you ever wondered why you can't just see Jesus and just have to live your entire life looking for the day when you can finally meet him face to face? Here, Jesus shares with us how he is busy in heaven preparing a place for us and busy on earth working through us at the same time for his glory.


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When God's Will and Our Will Collide

We’ve all been there. You have your entire day planned out and all is smooth sailing…then it happens. Your car won’t start or you lose your keys or your baby has an allergic reaction and you’ve got to rush to the doc right now (me this week). In moments like this it is so easy to carry hidden frustration toward God because of your circumstances, but this would be a failure to trust His wisdom, goodness, and sovereignty over your life. We may seem more spiritual when life is all smiles and we’re sipping a Starbucks on a breezy, carefree day, but God doesn’t see it that way. What we call interruptions to our will are actually perfectly coordinated and strategic elements of God’s will being worked out in our lives. The Christian life, among other things, is a series of God-planned interruptions uniquely crafted to wean us from self and teach us to depend upon Him; the sooner we learn this, the better. This is because of the focus of God’s will and the unique possibilities of accomplishi…

The Word: Fully Human, Fully Divine

The Christmas holiday brings with it questions of both the incarnation and the trustworthiness of its record. Was Jesus just a man claiming to be God or God pretending to be a man? If the Bible was written by men, can we really trust it? In this two-part post, we’ll see the fully human, fully Divine nature of both God’s Word (post 1) and Jesus, God’s Word made flesh (post 2). So this week, lets examine the reliability of the Bible, which bears the record of the God-Man, Jesus. The Word of God is fully human a) Human agents, with their own personalities and backgrounds, wrote the Bible The Scripture was written over more than a millennium-long stretch of time by several dozen authors from various cultural backgrounds. Therefore to consider that God could speak one distinct message for His people through such different people in different times and different places is surely a miracle. Students of the Bible can tell you that the message of God’s Word, whether Genesis or Revelation (or a…

What We Can Learn from J.C. Ryle

“The world will let a man go to hell quietly, and never try to stop him. The world will never let a man go to heaven quietly—they will do all they can to turn him back…let him begin to read his Bible and be diligent in prayers, let him decline worldly amusement and be particular in his employment of time, let him seek an evangelical ministry and live as if he had an immortal soul,-let him do this, and the probability is all his relations and friends will be up in arms…if a man will become a decided evangelical Christian he must make up his mind to lose the world’s favours; he must be content to be thought by many a perfect fool” (Murray, 67). The name J.C. Ryle seemed to be forgotten by the winds of time after his death. For fifty years, Ryle’s work would be left in the dustbin of history. But when the battle for the Bible began raging on and the conservative resurgence took shape, Ryle’s works once again grew in popularity. Now that a new wave of “young, restless, and reformed” have…