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Our new Sermon Series is Renew: Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ. We are saved by believing the gospel message, the good news that life with God is available through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel not only brings us into a right relationship with God, it is also the way we grow in our faith. We are made new through the gospel, but, as Romans 6-8 shows us, we are also becoming new. Romans 6-8 shows us how to live the new life we have in Christ and how to put Christ’s power on display in our own lives.
Our sermon series, A Thrill of Hope, comes from the lyrics of “O Holy Night.” If you remember the song, the very next line is, “a weary world rejoices.” It is hard to find a better description of our world right now. It is anxious, depressed, and weary. It needs hope. And that hope is found in Jesus Christ. He is the hope of the world. Join us to see how the gospel gives us hope and how we can share this hope with others.
Core strength comes from working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). It means allowing the gospel to influence every area of our lives and to change those areas on a deeper and deeper level. The gospel must move from merely changing how we behave to shaping our motives, desires, and loves. So Christians answer the question “Who am I?” in a very distinct way. They know their identity is “in Christ.” God gives each Christian a new identity of being connected to Christ.
Onesimus was a slave, likely running away from his master, Philemon. Along the way, Onesimus encountered the apostle Paul and accepted Christ. But Onesimus was now returning to his master with an advocate in his corner, Paul. While the letter was written primarily to Philemon, it also speaks of the work that God had done in Onesimus’ life to make him new. Here we will see all the new things that have come into Onesimus’ life as a result of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus invites us to find life and rest in Himself. Some people take Jesus' invitation while others don’t. Are there consequences to rejecting Jesus? If so, what are they? Jesus’ invitation is not only for those outside the faith. He regularly invites those who believe in Him to follow Him more closely. Yet, due to the remnants of sin within us, we can still struggle to accept His Word. Jesus discusses the consequences, and blessings, of accepting His invitation.
The message of Zechariah is that if the people return to God, God will return to them. Even though the people are back in the land, they are still in exile. But God promises to end their (spiritual) exile. One day he will atone for their sin, banish idolatry and false prophets from the land, lead the people back in a new exodus, and fill Jerusalem with his presence.
God gave the people of Israel the year of Jubilee to celebrate his goodness and faithfulness. Every 50 years, the people were to take a full year off from work and trust in the Lord. Unfortunately, the people never celebrated the Jubilee. Due to their unbelief, the people were sent into exile. But God brought jubilee to bear through the incarnation of Jesus.
The gospel empowers us to live for God. We don't live for God in order to get things from God. We live for God because of what Jesus has done for us through his life, death, and resurrection. But the Christian life is also one of continually growth. We grow, however, not solely as individuals, but within the context of community. We grow together within the church.
The book of Acts records the spread of the gospel across the globe. After Jesus instructed his followers for forty days, the Spirit of God comes down upon the church, empowering her for God's mission. Through the power of the Spirit, the movement Jesus started continued to multiply throughout the world.