The Believer and the Body

June 4, 2017

Rev. Steve DeNeff - John 17:20-23, 25-26; Eph. 4:1-6. For some, the most significant affect of the Holy Spirit is that He joins us to fellow believers, to whom we belong. In Paul’s letters, three metaphors explain how, exactly, the Spirit does this: A body, a family and a temple. In each, the Spirit does something miraculous to join us to the people of God who serve to assist the Holy Spirit in forming us. This last sermon will explore this crucial link between the individual believer and the Body of Christ. 

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The Spirit will Lead

May 28, 2017

Rev. Matt Beck - John 16:12-15; Galatians 5:22-25. Jesus has more to say to his disciples, but he will tell them in an extraordinary way: through the Spirit of truth. By taking a closer look at what Jesus said about how the Spirit would guide the disciples, we can learn how the Spirit is guiding us now. We may find that we are asking the wrong questions about “the will of God” and that the answers are already available in subtle and surprising ways. 

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Realistic Optimism

May 21, 2017

Rev. Steve DeNeff -John 14:27; 15:9-14; 16:33; Romans 15:13. The natural man is restless until he finds his rest in God. But once we have, the Holy Spirit re-orders our interior world with the personality of God. Here is the source of our peace, joy, love and hope. But how does this differ from our temporary moods and emotions? How does God’s Spirit stabilize us even when everything is under water? This sermon will explore another of the Spirits affects: A realistic optimism in a troubled world. 

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Convict & Convince

May 14, 2017

Rev Beau Hamner -  John 16:5-11; Romans 8:1-11. Many Christians today have adopted a “struggle theology” in which they are always battling sin and only sometimes winning. Too many of us seem to have an obligation to the sinful nature. We are caught in the same sins again and again. How does the believer respond to conviction, when it comes from the Holy Spirit How do we know when it does not? How do we put to death the same “misdeeds” that have haunted us for years? This sermon will explore another natural affection: An aversion to, and repudiation of all known sin. 

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Appetite

May 7, 2017

 Alex Mandura - John 14:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16. As Christians, we believe Christ’s promise that the Holy Spirit is within us and active. Yet, why is it that some Christians seem to be more aware of the Holy Spirit “teaching and causing to remember” in their lives more than others? More specifically, why do some Christians seem to have a different passion and interest in Scripture? This sermon will investigate the work of the Holy Spirit and the role of believers in this relationship. By the end we should desire to grow in our appetite for comprehending what the Holy Spirit reveals.

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For the Love of God

May 1, 2017

Steve DeNeff - John 14:15-20, 23; Romans 8:15-17. To every believer, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would “be with us and would be in us,” that we would “not be orphans” but would “make our home” with Him. Yet many Christians struggle with the very problems this indwelling would resolve. One such problem is the assurance that we are Christians at all. What affect should God’s Spirit have on our capacity to love Him? How does He “testify with our spirit that we are God’s children?” This sermon will introduce the idea of religious affections, beginning with the love of God for God’s own sake.

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Living Resurrection

April 23, 2017

Steve DeNeff - Luke 24:36, 45-49; Ephesians 3:7-11. On the first Easter, Jesus established, not only the gospel (Lk 24:45-47), but the community that would be responsible for declaring it: the Church (24:48-49). This new community - as flawed and fragile as it is - would become "the mystery which for ages past was kept hidden in God ... so that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known ... according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Jesus Christ," (Eph. 3:9-10). Yet there are many who underestimate the power of this community, some who attend it every week. Today we'll celebrate the power of the Church - "the resurrected ones" - and the purpose of our church in particular, and then, in light of that, your place within our church.  

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An Other Hope (Easter Sunday)

April 16, 2017

Rev. Steve DeNeff - Luke 24:13-35. One sees what one looks for. After following Jesus toward Jerusalem, "the end of our journey" is on the road to Emmaus (v.28), then back again to Jerusalem (v.33). Like the disciples, we are to see ourselves as travelers along the road (v.13). Like them, we are kept from recognizing Jesus in our every day affairs (v.16). Like the them, we tend to misinterpret "what things" have just happened (v.19). Like them, we must learn that Jesus is present even when it seems he is not (v. 25-27). And like them, we need "our eyes opened" so we can recognize him in places and at times when he seemed absent before (v.31). The story of Easter is that Jesus is not only alive, but fully present. So where is he? How can we find him in places where he seems absent? One sees what one looks for.  

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An Other Hero

April 9, 2017

Steve DeNeff - Luke 19:28-42, 45-48. It’s Palm Sunday. We gather with the “crowd of disciples joyfully praising God in loud voices singing... Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” But can we stay with him as he weeps over the city, cleanses the temple, argues in our courts and contradicts some of our most cherished traditions? We can worship, but can we weep? We can sing with the public, but can we follow him into trouble, controversy, trial and death? Here, on the eve of Easter, the whole journey is compressed into a single week. How far into the week can we go?

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An Other Economy

April 5, 2017

Steve DeNeff - Luke 18:18-27; 19:1-10.  As Jesus nears Jerusalem we see a contrast between a rich young ruler (18:18-27) and an old, well-established tax collector; both ambitious and wealthy, both well known in the community, and both very interested in Jesus. As is often the case with Jesus, things are not as they seem. In the conversion of Zacchaeus - which is meant to be typical of our own conversion - we see an other economy in which generosity is the norm. In this economy, Jesus challenges our most fundamental beliefs about our possessions and calls us to act in a way that is consistent to these new beliefs. In this economy, wealth is not measured by what we possess, but by what we give away. The self-sufficient are "sad" and desperate (18:23), while the desperate are made whole (or "saved," 19:9). It is one thing to admire the generous, which most of us are prone to do, but it's something more to imitate them because we actually believe in their values. That's what this sermon will call us to do.

 

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