All in Sermon series

Made for God

BIG IDEA | True life is only found in Christ.

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here

Though we all come from different walks of life and represent diversity in almost every area, there is at least one thing we all share: Every human being has a an innate desire to experience true life.  

We long for enlightenment, we desperately seek significance. Some even go to extreme lengths, leaving everything in their search for meaning, and their stories resonate with us. 

Reassurance in Our Fight for the Faith

BIG IDEA | God is the sustaining factor in our fight for the faith.

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here. 

The book of Jude ends with an explosive expression of praise, a doxology unlike any other in the New Testament. 

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

After his sober warnings about the dangers of false teachers in their midst and the certainty of God’s coming judgment, Jude is concerned his readers will be spiritually shaken and discouraged. To secure their confidence in Christ, he gives them three reassuring reminders in their fight for the faith:

3 Factors In Our Fight For The Faith

BIG IDEA: To fight for the faith, we follow God's instruction.

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here

Division and discord had been sown in the first-century church when its members received the letter we know as the New Testament book of Jude. False teachers had defied God’s authority as conveyed through His Word and were putting tremendous pressure on the Christians in that congregation to compromise their faith.

In one short but theologically dense chapter, Jude, a concerned pastor, clearly identifies the problem and presents the solution:

Preparing for Christ's Coming

Big Idea | Christ is coming to condemn the ungodly.

 

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

The certainty that Christ will return to condemn the ungodly is a Biblical reality that has fallen out of favor in our culture. Many have taken an incorrect and dangerous posture toward this idea.

Some are simply ignorant that judgment is an eventuality; others have chosen to disregard it and pretend it isn’t true. Sadly, many (including Christians) are apathetic or have adopted a watered-down revision of what the scriptures say. Some simply deny this truth, refusing to believe that God will punish sin. 

We may imagine or pretend that it will be otherwise; we may even reject the possibility outright, but regardless of whether or not we face it, reality will run us over. Our God will deal justly with sin. 

Anchoring Your Life to God's Word

Big Idea | If you're not anchored to God's WORD, you will drift from His WILL.

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

Life has a way of carrying us places we never planned. If we want to remain attached to what we should be and not drift into what we shouldn’t, we’re going to need an anchor.

As Christians, our anchor should be God’s Word. Without it, we’re in danger of drifting away from God’s will for our lives and into doubt, discouragement, and disobedience. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Jude addressed this concern in his letter to first-century Christians. In verses 8-13 of his short New Testament book, he described the sin of false teachers of that day, sin that caused them to drift into waters that threatened eternal suffering. Jude wanted to warn the church about them, so they wouldn’t become like them. 

From Jude’s description, we can see five reasons it’s dangerous to drift from God’s Word:

The Warning of a Worried Pastor

BIG IDEA | God will punish the unrepentant.

 

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

As humans, we have a tendency to forget. This can be inconvenient and annoying in our personal lives. But in matters of faith, forgetfulness can have fatal consequences. That’s why “remember” is a constant theme through all of scripture.

As a pastor, Jude was deeply concerned about this and addressed it head-on in his letter to the early Christians. He issued an urgent warning to them by giving three examples of God’s judgment of sin in the Old Testament. He pointed to God’s past actions in order to drive home the point that there have been - and always will be - consequences for unrepentant rebellion against God.

A message like Jude’s is direct and even hard to hear, but it brings into focus an important characteristic of God: He is always more committed to our care than our comfort. He is more than willing to wound us in the present if it saves us in the future.

Here are three warnings from Jude’s message not to rebel against God:

3 Signs You're a Functional Atheist

BIG IDEA: We fight for the faith through fervent obedience.

To listen to the entire sermon audio, click here

Many Christians today have an ever present, faith-threatening blind spot. They say they believe in God but then live as though He doesn’t exist. It may sound harsh, but the truth is: they are functional atheists. 

This was a problem in the early church as well. Jude wrote to a group of Christians who were under pressure to compromise their faith. He warned them not to give in to the culture around them and challenged them to contend for the faith, to fight for the essential content of Christian belief. 

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1:3-4 NIV

What Jude had to say then is still relevant today. In these two verses, we find three signs that we, like those in Jude’s day, may be functional atheists:

How to Persevere Under Pressure

Big Idea: The sum total of the Christian life is secure in Christ.

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

It’s increasingly difficult to be a Bible-believing Christian in our culture and it’s only going to get worse.

The push to compromise comes from the culture outside the church and even from inside the church. There is mounting pressure to exchange truth for tolerance, especially in the areas of sexuality, spirituality and immorality. 

As Christians, we’re faced with two options: We can contend for the faith, or we can compromise it.

The New Testament book of Jude contains a stern warning of what will happen if our faith is compromised. It is also a call to us to fight for the faith in our own lives and culture, to persevere under pressure.

Jude roots this fight in our spiritual identity as followers of Christ, establishing three reasons why, even though their culture and their church were increasingly filled with false teaching and teachers, they were (and we are) secure in Christ. 

"To those who are CALLED, BELOVED in God the Father and KEPT for Jesus Christ..."

(Jude 1b)

3 Critical Choices in Crisis

Big Idea | "God will bring good out of every evil experienced by His people."

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

It’s inevitable: Crisis is coming for all of us. We live in a fallen world where evil exists and will affect each of us. Holding on to our Christian faith will become increasingly difficult in our culture and we will be tested. 

If we try hoping, ignoring, or pretending we won’t experience our share of crises, we will miss the opportunity to prepare our hearts and minds for when reality comes crashing in on us.

A crisis will either damage or deepen our faith. The difference is a choice.

A Blueprint for Building a Life of Repentance

BIG IDEA | “Repentance is a change in desire resulting in a change of direction.”

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

The end game of repentance is more than facing our sin and feeling sorry for it. Repentance should produce a change in direction for our lives. Where there is no change, there cannot have been real repentance.

No one accidentally stumbles into a life of genuine repentance, however. Just as in architecture, building something that lasts requires a blueprint; repentance, too, calls for a specific plan. 

Five Signs of Godly Sorrow

Big Idea: Repentance requires godly sorrow.

To listen to the entire message, click here.

The Apostle Paul was clear in 2 Corinthians 7: 10 that godly sorrow produces repentance. This means that where there is no sorrow, repentance is suspect. But where does this godly sorrow come from? What does it look like? And how can we pursue it?

The best way to understand godly sorrow is to see it in action. In Luke 7:36-50 we find one of the clearest examples in all of Scripture.

3 Keys to Facing My Sin

This is adapted from my latest sermon entitled: “A Change of Mind: Three Keys to Facing My Sin." You can listen to the full sermon audio here.

Most people would rather do anything other than face their sin.

The problem is, facing sin is the first step to repenting of it. The puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Before a man can come to Christ, He must first come to himself...Sin must first be seen before it can be wept for."

In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan confronts the concealed sin of King David. David was guilty of a body of sin that would make the most hardened of sinners blush. There is much in the example of David that should not be replicated, but there is one thing that should - he finally faced his sin when Nathan called him on it. After nine months of hiding his sin, David finally admits in v.12,

"I have sinned against the LORD."

In this simple sentence we learn so much about repentance, specifically three keys to facing our sin...

3 Essential Marks Of Genuine Repentance...

Big Idea: Repentance is a change in me the world can see. 

To hear the entire message, click here.

We’ve all experienced times of confusion - times when we thought we understood something we in reality did not. The problem with confusion is that it has consequences. Some confusion, in fact, can have life-long, fatal, even eternal consequences. Repentance is one of those issues.

From beginning to end, the Bible heralds genuine repentance as foundational to both salvation and spiritual growth. The truth is, there is no salvation or spiritual growth apart from repentance.

But even though it’s one of the most talked-about issues in our faith, repentance is also one of the most misunderstood. As a result, much of what we deem repentance may not be. So, we need to be crystal clear about what it is and what it isn’t.

Here’s the question:

The Arrival of Hope

BIG IDEA: Worship is always the right response to the saving grace of Jesus

To listen to the full sermon audio, click here.

Stories are an essential part of Christmas; they inspire us, encourage us, and fill us with nostalgia. But what’s different about the Christmas story is that it gives birth to true and eternal hope.

When we reflect on what God has done in the past, as we do in the recounting of this story, it gives us hope for what God will do in the future and shows us how we should respond. We serve an unchanging God which means He will always do what He has always done. (Romans 15:4)

From the Christmas story in Luke 1, we find three reasons for hope:

3 Truths To Build Your Life On

The Old Testament book of Ruth is all about life, loss and the loving providence of God. It’s the story of two women, Naomi and Ruth, surrounded by loss and disappointment, and the one true God who is always at work in the ups and downs of their lives. 

I taught through this powerful short story at Redemption this fall (Click for sermon summaries - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four). In each chapter I found myself walking away with the same three realities rattling around in my heart and I wanted to share them here…

The Best Birth Announcement Ever

BIG IDEA | “Will you trust the promise and power of God?”

To listen to the entire sermon audio, click here.

Hundreds of years before the nativity scene we are all familiar with, God made a promise to His people through the prophet Isaiah. He promised to send a Savior who would deliver all humanity from sin and oppression, bring peace to a war-torn world, and rule with justice and righteousness forever.

Through this promise, hope was instilled in the hearts of God’s people and the waiting and anticipation began. But time went by and the generation to whom the promise was made had long died. Many surely wondered if God would keep His promise and if so, when?

Then something majestic happened,