Do You Know What Baptism Means?

WhatBaptismMeans Tommy Gore 04-30-2017

Most of us are familiar with the Prodigal Son story that Jesus told. In our mind’s eye let’s extend the story. It’s two years later and the family has fallen into a routine of daily life. The older brother tolerates his younger brother, the loving father has gotten older. But the younger son fondly remembers the day his father welcomed him home. What if he had this thought? “Suppose I did it again? Why not help myself to some more of Dad’s things, run away for a while and then come back? Maybe I’ll get another party!” Wouldn’t that be absurd? Unthinkable? Yet, isn’t that the way a lot of people think. “God will forgive me; that’s his job!” We must only tell people that God accepts them just as they are. The only thing to say to someone who sins is, “That’s fine—God loves you.” Someone who thinks like that has forgotten what the gospel is all about. It is about lost people being found, about sinners being changed, about no longer starving in the pig pen but being restored to blessing. Scripture Readings: Psalms 31:1-3; Sermon Scripture - Romans 6:1-4

Decision Time

DecisionTime Ben Herchenhahn 4-23-2017

Ben Herchenhahn - Decision Time

Scripture Readings: Psalm 30:1-5; Sermon Scripture - Matthew 7 13-14; 21-23

Stop Doubting and Believe

StopDoubtingAndBelieve Tommy Gore 04-16-2017

It has been traditional for a long time to think about Jesus’ resurrection at this time of year. It has a historical basis since we know that the resurrection came on the Sunday after Passover. We noted last week that John’s Gospel connected Jesus’ death to the Passover. He is the perfect and final Passover Lamb who dies for the sins of the whole world. And now in this closing section, John makes clear that Jesus changed the way we look at both death and life. We can divide the history of the world into BEFORE Jesus and AFTER. And it’s the resurrection that makes the difference. To know that death has been defeated, to know that God has plans for us after this life is finished, changes the way we look at both death and life. For John the resurrection was the final evidence that allowed him to believe in Jesus. Scripture Readings: Psalms 27:1-3, John 20:24-28; Sermon Scripture - John 20-21

The Death That Brought Life

DeathThatBroughtLife Tommy Gore 04-09-2017

John devotes almost half of his Gospel (beginning with chapter 12) to the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. He lingers over the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus in two full chapters. The Gospels are not typical biographies that tell someone’s life story. They were written to create and sustain faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. So when John comes to the death of Jesus, he wants us to see clearly what this death means. John wants us to understand that everything surrounding Jesus’ death fulfilled God’s plan. “This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled…” (18:8). John wants us to see that Jesus’ death was voluntary. “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (18:11) John wants us to know that Jesus was an innocent man dying for the guilty. “Pilate answered, ‘As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him’” (19:6). Even though we know the story, Jesus at the cross demonstrates how he brought grace and truth into the world to save it. Scripture Readings: Psalms 25:1-5, John 19:28-30; Sermon Scripture - John 18-19

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