John 4:16-26 – The Woman at the Well, part 2

After leaving Judea for Galilee, Jesus traveled with His disciples through Samaria. Stopping in the town of Sychar to rest He sent the disciples into town to get lunch, and as He’s resting by Jacob’s well Jesus sees a woman approaching to draw water. Though weary and thirsty Himself, Jesus spoke to her about the…

John 4:1-15 – The Woman at the Well, part 1

As we continue on in our series through John’s gospel we’ve come to John 4, where our passage for today is 4:1-15, follow along as I read it. A Weary Savior (4:1-6) Upon entering the passage in v1-6 we find out the details of how Jesus came to be in Samaria. v1-3 tells us Jesus…

John 3:31-36 – 4 Reasons Jesus Must Increase

  Those of you who are members of SonRise have already heard this before, but for those of you who are newer to SonRise let me briefly explain what we’re seeking to accomplish in the preaching portion of the service. Typically during the preaching portion of our Sunday morning gatherings we employ and enjoy a…

John 3:22-30 – Decrease, the Character of the Kingdom

  One of the casualties of our fast paced technological advancements is the disappearance of board games. Now that we’ve got children old enough to enjoy them we find ourselves playing them more often…and one of the ones I enjoy playing is Monopoly. I played the game growing up but was never really that good at…

John 3:17-21 – The Passage No One Knows

On Easter Sunday last week we looked at John 3:16, a passage that everyone knows. This week we continue on in John 3 coming to the verses directly after, John 3:17-21, which ironically is a passage no one knows. As you can see, while John 3:16 speaks of the grace and mercy of God in…

Easter Sermon – John 3:16 – The Passage Everyone Knows

Those of you who are members of SonRise have already heard and seen this before, but for those of you who are newer to SonRise (or if it’s your first time here) let me briefly explain what we’re seeking to accomplish in this preaching portion of the service. In our preaching we employ and enjoy…

The New Birth, Part 2 – John 3:9-15

“I was years and years upon the brink of hell – I mean in my own feeling. I was unhappy, I was desponding, I was despairing. I dreamed of hell. My life was full of sorrow and wretchedness, believing that I was lost.” These are the words the older Charles Spurgeon used to describe his…

Mark 4 – Conversion

Thus far in our first Sunday of the month series through the 9marks of a healthy church we’ve covered expositional preaching, biblical doctrine, and the gospel. Today we turn to the 4th mark of a healthy church, a biblical understanding of conversion. In his book Turning to God: Reclaiming Christian Conversion as Unique, Necessary, and…

The New Birth, Part 1 – John 3:1-8

  Inside the classic Voyage of the Dawn Treader we find, what is in my opinion, the second greatest piece of Biblical imagery in the entire Narnian mythology. A young boy named Eustace becomes an ugly scaly dragon as a consequence for being selfish and stubborn. The reader feels somewhat happy this happens to him because he has been…

Jesus: Making the Temple Great Again – John 2:12-25

As our pastor is out this Sunday with his family, one of our elders Chad Clark stepped into fill the pulpit as we continue on in our series through John's gospel. We enjoy having a pastor to lead us most weeks, but we also enjoy having multiple elders who are also equipped and called by…

From Water, to Wine, to Glory – John 2:1-11

In 1857 a woman named Anne Cousin wrote a hymn called ‘The Sands of Time Are Sinking.’ Part of that hymn reads as follows: “O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams of earth I’ve tasted, more deep I’ll drink above. There to an ocean fullness, His mercy doth…

Mark 3 – The Gospel

  At the end of Tolkien’s epic The Lord of the Rings there is a scene to behold. Far into the dark and evil land of Mordor a solemn and weary Samwise Gamgee looked up into the sky, saw the clouds part, and beheld a single star. Tolkien describes this moment like this, “Sam saw…

The First Disciples – John 1:35-51

  What are you seeking? Really, what are you seeking? You could’ve slept in today, you could’ve had a nice relaxing morning at home, you could’ve caught up with a friend over breakfast, you could’ve gone for a run, you could’ve done a million other things this morning. So, when it really comes down to…

The Testimony of John – John 1:19-34

  Dr. Stephen Nichols begins his new book A Time for Confidence with the following illustration[1]: Henry Wanyoike was a Kenyan distance runner. Usually distance runners peak in their 30’s and some even continue to peak into their 40’s. Henry though, at 21 years old, was only 10 seconds off world record pace for the…

The Prologue, Part 4 – John 1:17-18

  We have spent 3 weeks so far on John’s prologue, and we’ve seen wonders within it; wonders that form and fill out many of the essential truths of the Christian faith. Today we finish his prologue by looking at v17-18. And right away we see something new. v14 told us that Christ was full…

Biblical Theology

On the morning of January 7, 1855 Charles Spurgeon began his sermon like this: “The highest science…the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of the child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is…

The Prologue, Part 3 – John 1:14-16

(Manuscript only this week) Have any of you ever been to Niagara falls? I haven’t gone, I’d love to take our family one day. Most everyone who goes to visit the falls says it’s a scene to behold. The cloud of mist hovering all around, the vast amount of water flowing, and the roar that…

The Prologue, Part 2 – John 1:12-13

Among the rock climbers of the world there exists a common desire: the infamous quest to climb the 7 summits. Have some of you heard of this? To complete the 7 summits one would have climb the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents. Each of these summits vary in difficulty and elevation, the…

The Prologue, Part 1 – John 1:1-11

  Having the right tool for the job is fundamental for getting the job not only done, but done correctly. I learned this firsthand in my days as a quick lube mechanic. I remember walking into the shop on my first day, sitting down with the shop manager to learn the ins and outs of…

Expositional Preaching

  So, how’s it going? Did you get enough sleep last night? You get out of the house on time? Did you find a good parking spot this morning? Were you welcomed as you came in? Was it clear where to go? Did you think the building was clean? Are the seats comfortable? Can you…

What Child is This, Part 3

  ‘What Child is This?’ Two weeks ago we saw the answer the gospel of Matthew gives, that Jesus came to be the bringer of a new creation, the true Israel, and the true Adam. Last week we saw the answer the gospel of Mark gives, that Jesus came to say “Repent and believe in…

What Child is This, Part 2

‘What child is This?’ Last week we saw Matthew’s answer, that Jesus came to bring new creation and to show Himself to be the true Israel and the true Adam. Today we turn our attention to the gospel of Mark to see Mark’s answer and when we do we find that Mark gives us not…

What Child is This, Part 1

We find ourselves again in another Advent season. Radio stations are playing Christmas songs. Churches are beginning to schedule special services. We’re climbing steep ladders to decorate our homes, we’re digging through closets to find the Christmas wrapping paper we bought last year, and we’re beginning to keep an eye on all the sales going…

The Death and Disposal of Saul

  Well we’ve come to it. After beginning our Collision series working through the book of 1 Samuel this past January 31st, today, 30 chapters later, we come to the end. As expected, in this book we’ve found collision after collision: beginning with Eli and Hannah, moving onto Eli and Samuel, then to Saul and…

Who Do You Follow?

It is our privilege to have Bill Abitz here this Sunday as our guest speaker while our pastor is out of town. We have known Bill and Debbie and their children for many years and are eager to hear from Bill as he preaches God's Word to us. He is continuing on in our series…

God’s Quiet, Surprising, and Pursuing Mercy

Perhaps you saw it too. Late this past Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses alike were lamenting the outcome of the Presidential election. One such response went like this: “I'm so scared and angry and sad. If there is anyone in my life that voted for Trump, they better never…

Saul and the Witchy Woman

  In 2005 the famous director Ridley Scott made a movie called ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ In it Scott depicts what it was like to on the inside of the medieval crusades in Jerusalem that were waged against Islam. In between the main characters there is another character who has always intrigued me. The priest, the…

The Heart of Man – A Mixed Bag

So there stood Elijah, on top of Mt. Carmel, victorious. Earlier he had taunted the 450 prophets of Baal as they cried out, sung to, and cut themselves to get their god’s attention saying ‘Maybe your god is asleep, maybe he doesn’t hear you, maybe he’s off relieving himself?’ No answer ever came from Baal.…

David Spares Saul….Again

Back when Vince Lombardi was coaching the Green Bay Packers, he was known for beginning pre-season training in unusual but lasting ways. One such season the packers arrived on the first day of practice nervous of what coach Lombardi had in store for them. All the players arrived and were waiting for the coach. After…

The Glory of Interrupting Grace

  As we open up the Bible let me remind you: this is God’s revelation, His Word to us: it’s about who He is, who we are, what’s wrong with the world, what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He will do to fix it, what we’re waiting for, what we should be doing…

David Spares Saul’s Life

I am convinced of something this morning. If you get the point of 1 Samuel 24 it will change everything about your life. Sure, you may not leave here visibly different than when you walked in, you will still have the same problems and the same difficulties and the same struggles in life. But one…

A Pleasant Providence in Deep Disappointment

  It’s been a long 4 weeks since we’ve been in our expositional series for 2016 called ‘Collision’ going through 1 Samuel. So before diving into our text today let me remind you of where we left off. It’s really nothing that new to us, as soon as we come into today’s text we see…

For the Lord’s Sake

  Throughout the past 3 we’ve been in a short series called ‘Government Under God.’ We’ve looked at Jesus and Paul’s teaching on what government is, how it’s to function, how it’s not to function, and what the Christians role in it is to be and not to be. Today we end this series by…

Submission to Authorities, part 2

  Today is two things: it's strange and it's not so strange. It's strange because we’re not usually this explicitly political at SonRise. But it's not so strange because 2 Pet. 1:3 is true and we believe that the Bible speaks about all of life. So naturally, it has much to say about Government Under…

Submission to Authorities, part 1

  That the Bible speaks of government at all is challenging for modern Americans because we’ve grown very accustomed to the idea put forward in the Bill of Rights that forbids the government to establish a national religion. Overtime this principle of disestablishment has become what we now call the separation of Church and State,…

Giving to God and Caesar

  When it comes to religion and politics there seems to be more questions than answers. For example: does the separation of Church and State mean that the church shouldn’t get involved in politics? If not, to what degree should churches get involved? Is there one Christian position on politics? Does the Bible line up…

The Strengthening Community

As soon as we come into today’s text we see things we’ve seen many times before. David is fleeing from Saul, and Saul is pursuing David. At this point in the narrative, we see in v15 that David is hiding in the wilderness right outside a village named Ziph. This wilderness was a mountainous desert…

The Prominence of the Priest

Since we’ve been away from our 1 Samuel series for a week let me catch you up to speed. In chapter 21 David is on the run from Saul yet again. On his way out of town he stops by to see Ahimelech the priest in the city of Nob and receives provisions from him…

The Church and the World

We’ve haven’t seen good things from King Saul in the past few weeks. As each chapter comes and goes in the back half of 1 Samuel we see that Saul has a peculiar ability to surprise us in his wickedness. Just when we think he’s reached the bottom, just when we think Saul couldn’t get…

Desperate Times Call for Gospel Measures

Throughout the last few chapters we’ve seen David on the run from the murderous jealousy of Saul. And wonder of wonders to behold, we’ve seen God protect David time and time again. But even the best of men have their breaking point. When one has been in desperate times long enough there begins to grow…

Covenantal Security

  Since the late 1990’s John Piper began spreading a message we all would do well to take to heart. His message was this: ‘You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that…

Singing in the Shadow of the Almighty

Our chapter today breaks up into 4 sections, and in each section we see a similar thing: David being protected by God from Saul. Jonathan’s Intervention (19:1-7) What was implicit and hidden in chapter 18 is now explicit and revealed in chapter 19. Saul wanted to kill David, and he tried to many times and…

A Rising Tension

If we could say one thing about our current society, it would be that tension is rising. We see rising tension from terrorists in the multiple attacks from ISIS around the world. We see rising tension in our nation’s presidential race as we get closer to November. We see rising racial tension in recent shootings…

The Greater Son of Jesse

As we continue through our 'Collision' series covering all of 1 Samuel this past Sunday we had the joy of hearing from Matt Noble. In his sermon Matt showed us that in 1 Samuel 17 we see familiar events, events that are so familiar I'm afraid most of us miss the greater meaning of the…

Seeing As God Sees

How many of you are HGTV fans? Well last night Holly and I were watching House Hunter Renovation, and we witnessed a very awkward moment. A couple had bought a house to renovate and while the man was off at work one day the interior designer persuaded the wife to add an accent wall with…

To Obey is Our Sacrifice

Do rubber-neckers frustrate you? You know the people who slow down to 20 mph on the highway to look at a car wreck that’s taken place? They really frustrate me, I’m sure you’ve felt this to. But what happens when we drive by the wreckage? We turn and look too. We just can’t turn our…

Overshadowed Irreverence

  Around the turn of the 20th century two Minnesota minor league baseball teams played one another in a game that would be remembered for quite a while. Being tied after 9 innings, they went into extras, and in the top of the 10th inning the away team scored a run. When it was time…

A Foolish Faith

I had the privilege of spending the summer of 2005 in Kenya, some of you know this…you’ve heard me talk of it before. But I haven’t told you of the craziest thing I did there. One night we were camping high up on a bluff and before going out to this camping spot our group…

The Historical Faith: Preservation of the Saints

How do you know that you’ll wake up a Christian tomorrow morning? How do you know that you’ll still love God a few months or even a few years from now? How do you know that you’ll make it glory? This is a pressing question. We’ve all known people who’ve made a profession of faith…

The Historical Faith: Effectual Call

Throughout my life I remember certain calls. I remember the first time I answered our home phone as a young boy with a timid ‘Hello?’ I remember getting into trouble and having to call my mother from the principal’s office in 1st grade. I remember God calling me into pastoral ministry in Dec. 2003. I…

The Historical Faith: Definite Atonement

In our current sermon series on the Historical Faith we have looked so far at man’s radical corruption and God’s sovereign election. Today we continue with the 3rd truth the Church Historical has held close to the heart, the doctrine of Definite Atonement. But first, let me set the stage with an illustration. Before Holly…

The Historical Faith: Sovereign Election

As we continue in our series on The Historical Faith of the Church, today we turn our attention to the second doctrine that the Church throughout the ages has held close to the heart: God’s sovereign election. When speaking of the sovereign election of God, many people speak like this – ‘In eternity past God…

The Historical Faith: Radical Corruption

  For the month of May we’re taking a break from our Collision series through 1 Samuel, to finish what we began back in January. Recall, this past January we looked into the four marks of the Historical Church, and in the same manner, for the next 5 weeks we’ll look into the five central…

What Kind of Christian Will You Be?

It has been said that kings and earthly rulers are prone to pride. History is full of examples of this, one particular event that stands out is when James VI was king of Scotland. James was a proud man, after all he was the king! He was a rude man, and when he walked into…

The Forsaken vs. The Forsaker

Because Pastor Adam was away at the Together for the Gospel conference this past week, Chad Clark (one of our other elders) preached Sunday. He had much to say to us. God is sovereign, God is Judge, God is gracious, we shouldn't be afraid, we should serve God, give Him our hearts, and fear His…

Surprising Occasions

  The Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary Ligon Duncan once said, ‘There is nothing whatsoever surprising about sin. Holiness, however, is the most surprising thing in the world.’ You ever thought about that? We’re fallen people living in a fallen world that’s full of other fallen people, and because fallen-ness is now the norm, sin…

A King Worthy of Our Hearts

  If you were able to create a president or a king of your own making what qualities would be important to you? Charisma? Loyalty? Charm? A strong orator? Good looks? Perhaps you would want someone with the looks of JFK, the quality of Lincoln, and the mind of Eisenhower? In 1 Samuel 9 we…

Christ the King – Easter from 1 Samuel 8

Today we remember, we return to the beginning, and we celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God. Because of today, we can everyday proclaim that Jesus is the true King. There are many places we could go in the Bible today to see the glory of the resurrection, but for us this morning we’ll…

The Eternal Weight of Shepherding

Today two things are taking place: First, today is Palm Sunday, where we celebrate the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King. Second, today is the installation of Dave Treloar as an elder here at SonRise. You may think these things have nothing to do with one another, but they do. In 1 Timothy 3…

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

The German reformer and theologian Martin Luther once said, ‘When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.’ Does this offend you? The word repent is frowned upon today because the word implies that something in us has gone wrong and needs…

The Ark of God

This morning we’re continuing in our series through 1 Samuel that we have called Collision. There are actually many collisions in this book; so far in the first 3 chapters we’ve seen the collision between Eli’s family and young Samuel, today we’ll see this collision end. And once this first collision ends, we’ll slow begin…

After Darkness Light

If you were to visit Geneva, Switzerland today you’ll see a large stone wall that stretches for 100 meters long in the middle of the city. This wall is a monument to the 16th century Protestant Reformation. On this wall there are many statues depicting the great figures of the Reformation, and in the center…

God’s Resolve for His Renown

  The day had faded, all was night, the mountain they were climbing was erupting fire all around them, it was a fearful sight. They couldn’t go on, weary from a difficult journey, they were almost at the end, but couldn’t find the strength needed to finish. It was at this point that Samwise Gamgee…

The Growing Son & The Worthless Sons

Our passage today is a dreadful passage, because it’s full of sin. Not just any sin, it’s full of ministerial sin. During Samuel’s young teenage years, the priests in Shiloh were unconverted men leading an unconverted ministry, mocking God and treating sin lightly. This passage could’ve been written about our time concerning similar unconverted phonies…

The Bitter Bud of the Sweet Flower

  When we left Hannah in chapter 1 we saw her advance through three stages with God. We began by seeing her suffer as a broken and barren woman, move to a pleading woman pouring her soul out before the Lord, and finally progress to a different woman, a woman who was no longer barren…

The Beginning of God’s Work

  Today marks the beginning of a new sermon series called ‘Collision’ where we’ll go verse by verse through the book of 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel is largely about 3 people, Samuel, Saul, and David. The beginning of 1 Samuel (1-7) is about the prophet and last judge of Israel, Samuel. The middle of the…

The Historical Church – Apostolic

  Today we are concluding our series called ‘The Historical Church’ where we’ve focused on the marks of Church given to us in the ancient document from 325 AD called the Nicene Creed. In the first sentence of the last paragraph the creed says this, “And we believe in One, Holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church.”…

The Historical Church – catholic

In 325 AD the Nicene Creed defined the Church by giving it 4 marks saying this in the first sentence of the last paragraph: “And we believe in One, Holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church.” Today we turn our attention to the third mark of the Church: catholic. As we begin I want to give a…

The Historical Church: Holy

  In 325 AD the Nicene Creed defined the Church by giving it 4 marks saying this in the last paragraph: “And we believe in One, Holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church.” Today we turn our attention to this second mark of the Church: Holy. The subject of holiness is of the deepest importance for every…

The Historical Church: One

In 325 AD the Church met at the Council of Nicea to address many things concerning the proper doctrine of Christ and the proper doctrine of the Church. The result of the council is summarized very clearly and concisely in a creed they wrote called the ‘Nicene Creed.’ The first sentence of the last paragraph…

A New Year’s Challenge: Psalm 29

How many of you make New Year’s Resolutions each year? What are they? I honestly go back and forth as far as resolutions go, some of mine stick while others don’t. Regardless of whether or not you make such resolutions it’s my opinion that reflection over the past year is beneficial for us. Rather than…

Ruth 4 – Boaz, Biff, and Jesus

  In Greek mythology there is a figure named King Midas. It is said that King Midas worked out a deal with the god Dionysus in which he was granted one wish. Midas was a greedy man who never had enough so he wished for the ability to turn anything he touched into gold. He…

Ruth 3 – A Risky Rendezvous

As you have noticed, all three of our main characters are present in this chapter and in it we see the ‘worthy’ character of Ruth and Boaz on display here. Up to this point in the narrative Naomi has only been only been concerned with herself. Her grief and her bitterness from losing a husband,…

Ruth 2 – A Foreigner Finds Welcome

  We left chapter 1 when Naomi’s life seemed to be pitch black. Famine in the land, a move to Moab, the death of her husband Elimelech, the death of her sons Mahlon and Chilion, Orpah returning home, Ruth clinging, and entering back into Bethlehem with no source of food, no shelter, no money, and…

Ruth 1 – The Rough Road to the Messiah

  Welcome to Advent! For our advent season here at SonRise, we’re going to be walking through the book of Ruth…so if you have a Bible, go ahead and turn there. I love the book of Ruth, and I think it’s fitting for us to walk through for Advent because Ruth paves the way for…

Revelation 3:14-22 – The Lukewarm Church

  I invite you to open your Bibles to Revelation 3:14-22, where today we’ll end our series on the 7 churches by walking through the letter to the church in Laodicea. Located in the famous Lycus River Valley Laodicea was a prominent city that sat in the intersection of the three most-traveled trade routes in…

Revelation 3:7-13 – The Faithful Church

Picture this: you’re on the playground during recess about to start playing a basketball game. The two most athletic kids are pushed forward as captains and they begin picking teams. The first kid chosen is obviously going to be best player in the mix, and that’s clearly not you so there you are left among…

Revelation 3:1-6 – The Dead Church

Any of you ever been to Detroit? I have a few times, and what strikes me about Detroit in our present day is the emphasis on what Detroit used to be. When you fly into Detroit and walk into the airport you’re met with historic photos of old downtown Detroit, muscle cars made in Motor…

Revelation 2:18-29 – The Corrupt Church

Today we’re looking into Jesus’ 4th letter to the churches in Revelation 2-3, where the church of Thyatira comes into view. The city of Thyatira was the smallest of all the cities mentioned in Revelation 2-3, yet it receives the longest letter from Jesus out of all 7 letters, we’ll find out why soon. Thyatira…

Revelation 2:12-17 – The Compromising Church

Any of you ever watched the show Hoarders? I was surprised the first time I saw an episode b/c the home in view looked nice and put together from the outside, but as soon as they opened the door you saw the trash, stuff, and junk piling high to the ceiling. It was such a…

SonRise Seminar – Christ in Genesis, Part 5

Genesis 3:15 – The Proto-Gospel As we move out of Genesis 2’s scene with Adam and the garden and move into Genesis 3 there is a verse that is the most famous verse of Genesis, 3:15. Now, every individual text of Scripture gains it’s meaning from its immediate context, and the immediate context of Genesis…

SonRise Seminar – Christ in Genesis, Part 4

Genesis 1:26-28 – The Image of God and the Dominion Mandate It is my opinion that missionary work received it’s call into existence not in Matthew 28:19-20 but in Genesis 1:26-28. Missions is more than a NT idea. I believe that we’re given the full picture of missions in Genesis 1. Some people call Genesis…

SonRise Seminar – Christ in Genesis, Part 3

Genesis 1:3 – “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” When we come to 1:3 we come face to face with the gospel of grace. It may not seem like it, but 1:3 is the first place in the entire Bible when we come face to face with the drama of…

SonRise Seminar – Christ in Genesis, Part 2

Martin Luther once wrote the following about Genesis, “The first chapter is written in the simplest language; yet it contains matters of the utmost importance and very difficult to understand. It was for this reason, as St. Jerome asserts, that among the Hebrews it was forbidden for anyone under thirty to read the chapter or…

SonRise Seminar – Christ in Genesis, Part 1

Martin Luther once wrote the following about Genesis, “The first chapter is written in the simplest language; yet it contains matters of the utmost importance and very difficult to understand. It was for this reason, as St. Jerome asserts, that among the Hebrews it was forbidden for anyone under thirty to read the chapter or…

Revelation 2:8-11 – The Persecuted Church

I invite you to open your Bibles to Revelation 2:8-11, where we’ll spend our time this morning. Last week we looked at the letter from Christ to the church in Ephesus, this week we’ll look at the letter from Christ to the church in Smyrna. In v8 Jesus sets the tone of the letter saying,…

Is Reformed Theology For You?

'Is reformed theology for you?' is a pressing question for every Christian today.  Why?  Because reformed theology is Biblical theology, and every Christian must have Biblical theology.  Therefore every Christian has a need to embrace reformed theology.  Does that sound dangerous or threatening to you?  Listen to this week's episode of the SonRise Community Church…

Revelation 2:1-7 – The Loveless Church

We’ve now come to the first section in Revelation, where Jesus directly addresses 7 different churches and by so doing addresses His universal Church throughout all time. An initial look at these 7 churches may reveal that each church is presented to us with its own cares, concerns, and issues – but upon a closer…

Revelation 1:9-20 – A Vision of the Son of Man

One of my favorite things about The Chronicles of Narnia (have you ever read this?) is when various characters see Aslan for the first time. One example is from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  The first time the kids see Aslan they simply do not know what to do.  Lewis comments on this…

Revelation 1:1-8 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ

How many of you have ever been out of the country? I have, and every time I go abroad I always look forward to one moment: walking out of the airport in the new country for the first time. Any of you know what I mean? It’s a different country, with different sights, different sounds,…

Colossians 4:7-18 – GRACE: The Bookends of Supremacy

As we finish Paul’s letter to the Colossians today recall the context of the Church in Colossae. Tempted to believe the popular philosophy of the day, and by so doing they were tempted to embrace a low view of Christ. Because of this, Paul reminds them, and is now reminding us of the good, the…

Colossians 4:5-6 – The Apologetic of the Christian Life

  Does anyone in here know what the study of Christian Apologetics is? Right, Christian Apologetics is the study of answering or making a defense to any and all critics who oppose or question the truth claims of Christianity. We get the word apologetics from 1 Peter 3:15 where Peter tells us to ‘always be…

Colossians 4:2-4 – Prayer, the Ladder of the Soul

Prayer, when you think about it, is an interesting and fascinating thing to say the least, isn’t it? That we commune with the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer should stun us almost to the point of silence…but obviously if we were silent prayer wouldn’t take place, but…

Colossians 3:18-4:1 – The Christian Household, Part 2

Recall that in Colossians 3 Paul is detailing how life changes because of what God has done for us in Christ. His main point is that because our relationship with God has changed through Christ, our relationships with those around us must change for Christ. Last week we saw, from our passage, what God intends…

When We Disobey Our Earthly Masters

This past Sunday I preached from Colossians 3:22-4:1, on the topic of the diligent slave and the just master, detailing the obedience every slave is called to and the just treatment every master is called to.  I did not, however, mention that there is a time when we disobey our earthly master in obedience to…

Colossians 3:18-4:1 – The Christian Household, part 1

We can look back at Classical Antiquity, the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment, the Renaissance, the Great Awakening, the Roaring 20's, the Industrial revolution, and so on.  How will history remember our generation?  What label will we receive?  R.C. Sproul Jr. believes we'll be labeled as the generation which wholly moved beyond one great and God-given…

Colossians 3:12-17 – The Results of Electing Love

If I were to ask you: “What, in your opinion, are the greatest motivations the Bible gives us to live holy lives?” How would you answer? Some of you may think it’s the love of Christ on the cross, His atoning work, His sacrifice that moves us toward holy living. Some of you may think…

Colossians 3:11 – The Barriers That Divide Us

This past Sunday I was out of town at a family reunion, so you had the privilege of hearing the preaching of one of my close friends Matt Noble.  Matt is the Young Adult Pastor at First  Baptist Wesley Chapel and the Senior Administrative Assistant at Trinity College of Florida. Matt has a passion to…

Colossians 3:5-10 – Putting Off & Putting On

If you have not already done so I invite you to turn in your Bibles to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where today we’re continuing in our series titled “Supremacy.” We have hit a turning point in the letter today. As soon as we get to 3:5 Paul uses one word that lets us know…

Colossians 3:1-4 – The Life Above Lived Below

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) once made a distinction that is very relevant to our passage today. The distinction he made was between what he called the noumena and phenomena. According to Kant the noumena is ‘a thing as it really is’ while the phenomena are ‘things as they appear in our experience.’ Kant…

What is Reformed Theology? Part 1

I want to begin with Shakespeare. Hamlet, is one of his many plays. One that most people have heard of or at least read parts of it sometime in their lives. What strikes me about it is how C.S. Lewis used this play to teach about how salvation happens to a human created in God’s…

Colossians 2:16-23 – Grow With a Growth from God

"It has been said by someone that ‘the proper study of mankind is man.’ I will not oppose the idea but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of the Christian is Christ. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can…

Colossians 2:11-15 – In Him

Imagine you are, for the first time, visiting someone who has a home or an apartment near train tracks. You’re sitting there in pleasant conversation when suddenly, just a few feet from where you are, the train comes roaring by and you jump to your feet in alarm “What was that?” The friend your visiting…

Colossians 2:8-10 – Christ, the Wisdom of God

624 BC is said to be the birth of western philosophy. That year, in the city of Miletus a man named Thales was born and once Thales grew up he began to do what no one in western civilization had done before him – explain the origin of the world and all it contains by means…

Colossians 1:24-29 – Suffering and the Hope of Glory, Part 2

I believe there is a lack of true preaching in our day, and I also believe this has led to, over time, a lack of the desire to hear true preaching in our day. It is appalling to see what passes as preaching today in many churches. Pastors’ leaving the Bible behind in their sermons…

Colossians 1:24-29 – Suffering and the Hope of Glory, Part 1

Two people dominate the pages of the New Testament more than any others: Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. One of them claiming to be God Himself while the other was a Greek-speaking intellectual and writer. Both of these two men played a vital role in the establishment of the Christian movement in the 1st…

Colossians 1:21-23 – What is the Gospel?

For the past few weeks we’ve been in the beginning of our new series called “Supremacy” where we’re slowly walking through Paul’s letter to the Colossians. This week we come to Colossians 1:21-23, if you have not yet opened your Bibles to those verses, I invite you to do so now. As you turn there…

Colossians 1:15-20 – The Christ Hymn

I invite you (if you haven’t already) to open your Bibles to Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In our passage today, 1:15-20, Paul is soaring in praise to the glory, greatness, and grandeur of Jesus Christ. Many Church historians believe this passage was one of the earliest Christian hymns ever written. And you can see…

Colossians 1:9-14 – Paul’s Pattern of Prayer

When I was growing up cars fascinated me. How they looked…how they worked…not to mention how fast they could go. My parents got me a pickup truck when I was 17 and as soon as I began driving it I began to tinker with it, seeing what I could do by myself to sup it…

Colossians 1:1-8 – The Pursuit of Heavenly-Mindedness

I invite you to open your Bibles to Paul’s letter to the Colossians. It’s found right in the middle of Paul’s letters: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians… Colossae was a city that had seen better days. Sitting on the banks of the Lycus River Colossae was once the center of commerce for the region. It was…

Colossians 1-4 – An Introduction to Supremacy

For the sermon this morning I want to introduce our new series “SUPREMACY.” To do so I’m going to do something you may not be used to. I’m going to read Paul’s entire letter to the Colossians. Why? Well, the first reason is that Colossians is the source of this new series, and we’ll be…

Philemon: Grace on the Ground 21-25

Confidence is a funny thing, especially in our time. Everyone one around us seems to be confident. It's almost as if we're taught from birth that confidence is next to godliness. Don't you think so? Even if you've got no idea how to do something you better look like you've got it all together. Rather…

Philemon: Grace on the Ground 17-20

I invite you to open your Bibles to the small letter of Paul to Philemon. We’re entering into the 3rd message of 4 in this series, and by now I hope most of you have seen that though small, the letter to Philemon is a crystal clear picture of what the gospel is and what…

Philemon: Grace on the Ground 8-16

Last week I opened using an illustration about the most polar opposite people I could think of, and after hearing a few responses from you guys you heard my own group of polar opposite people: Hillary Clinton, Osama Bin Laden, and Jerry Zaccone. I then asked a question: what would it take for this group…

Philemon: Grace on the Ground 1-7

I want to begin with a question: who are some of the most polar opposite people on the planet? So polar opposite that they not only wouldn’t normally have anything to do with the other, but would actively go out of their way to stay away from each other. Anyone come to mind when you…

The Tenth Commandment – Exodus 20:17

I am not a fisherman. My Dad always took me fishing when I was a little kid, and after getting my line caught on something on the bottom of the river or caught in a tree, I would get frustrated, bored, and would eventually end up putting my fishing pole down and picking up rocks…

The Ninth Commandment – Exodus 20:16

This coming week will mark our 1 year anniversary of being in Florida, and one of the things I didn’t expect about Florida is the intensity of the mosquitoes. Does that surprise you? Do you guys have trouble with this too? Back in Georgia I never had to worry about them, I never wore bug…

The Eighth Commandment – Exodus 20:15

We live in a day where truth is thought of as relative. For something to be true, someone just has to think it’s true, and this changes for each person. What’s true for you is true for you, and what’s true for me is true for me. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Sounds all warm and…

The Seventh Commandment – Exodus 20:14

I really like fire (I know it’s weird, but I do). Staring at it, jumping over it, making campfires bigger and bigger…I love fire. Do you? Think about this, where is fire good? A fireplace. If fire is in the fireplace it is not only good, it’s very good. It warms the whole house, provides…

The Sixth Commandment – Exodus 20:13

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone here that murder is more than a mere misdemeanor. It is a heinous crime, an appalling atrocity, a complete unregard for the image of God in man and woman, and a blatant act of defiance against God Himself. Though this is true we find that the act of…

The Fifth Commandment – Exodus 20:12

If you were to name some of the most grievous sins a person can commit in life, what do you think would be among this list? What would you say? (let a few people answer) These are all good answers, listen to Paul’s own list in Romans 1:29-30, “They were filled with all manner of…

The Fourth Commandment – Exodus 20:8-11

Recall where we’ve been the past 4 weeks. Before commanding us to do anything, God tells us He is our Redeemer in the prologue to the 10 commandments. Our identity is shown to be secure in Him not based on any of our own activity, but on His activity to redeem us. Identity comes first…

The Third Commandment – Exodus 20:7

I like the name Adam, I always have. My parents chose well. I like my last name, Powers. It’s a strong name, though at times it has brought me the occasional Austin Powers joke. My middle name is another story, I have not always liked it. Perhaps some of you don’t even know it. My…

The Second Commandment – Exodus 20:4-6

The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ was first used in 1911 by a man named Arthur Brisbane in the New York newspaper ‘The Syracuse Post Standard’ and ever since it has been a common phrase in popular culture. The phrase exists to show the power of the image. An image can…

The First Commandment – Exodus 20:3

After God liberated Israel from Egypt, redeeming them from slavery, He brought them out to Mt. Sinai by where He then introduces Himself to them. The first thing these free people hear is God declaring who He is and who they are; He is Yahweh the one true God – their Redeemer. They used to…

The Prologue – Exodus 20:1-2

I invite you turn in your Bibles to Exodus 20, where we find one of the most famous and influential passages in the whole Bible – the 10 commandments. Today we begin a new series on the 10 commandments that will carry us, Lord willing, all the way through the next 3 months. When it…

Ephesians 2:11-22 – CHURCH – The Unified Community

Every year in July the best sporting event in the world takes place. Some of you may recall that I am referring not to Wimbledon or the MLB All-Star game, but the momentous ‘Tour De France.’ 198 of the worlds top cyclists race almost 2,300 miles over France. Divided into 21 stages, racing at speeds…

Ephesians 2:11-22 – CHURCH – The Blood Soaked Community

It has been said by many that Christianity is a ‘bloody religion.’ Those who make such a reference are usually critics who point back to the Church’s history filled with war, inquisitions, trials, and executions carried out over the years in the name of Christianity. And we must admit that to a certain degree these…

Ephesians 2:11-22 – CHURCH – The Covenant Community

With another Advent season affectionately in the rear view mirror we’re moving forward into 2015 by focusing on the Church. Let’s begin with a question: What is the Church? Have you ever given this some thought? When you think about it, doesn’t it seem strange to you that in this sophisticated day and age a…

Christmas Eve Service – Brief Gospel Homily

When the Roman Empire was conquering and spreading throughout the known world, they sought to spread what they called the “Pax Romana” or the Peace of Rome. Everywhere they were victorious they brought their own culture and ideas of peace to the region with the aim that Rome would extend throughout the whole world. I…

Ezekiel 36:22-23 – Not for Your Sake

Christmas can be a confusing time for us. We sing “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men” but have you ever been to WalMart on Thanksgiving Evening or black Friday? There is hardly any Christmas cheer at places like this, rather ‘self’ is King and the latest and greatest material…

Isaiah 7:1-17 – The Lord Himself Will Give You a Sign

One of the things I enjoy about Christmas is the anticipation of Christmas morning. The tree is loaded with gifts underneath, family coming over from all over, the house is still and warm opposed to the cold outside. It’s the only morning of the year where the kids wake up the parents. They can hardly…

Genesis 3:15 – The Proto-Gospel

Advent is a special time of year for the Church universal. During this time of year we do not merely celebrate, or remember, or rejoice over a baby and manger, we celebrate, remember, and rejoice over the incarnation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. For the One who cried out in the manger…

James 5:19-20 – Wretches Gonna Wretch – Christians Gonna Christ

We have arrived, finally, at the end of the book of James. For 6 months we together have sat under all 108 verses from James the brother of Jesus. I am proud of you guys for sticking in there for these past 6 months as we have trekked through James. I think it is true…

James 5:13-18 – The Life of God in the Soul of Man

I know it may be hard to do, but I’m going to ask you guys to remember something from a long, long time ago. Who remembers how people communicated with one another before there was email or telephones? LETTERS! Crazy now that we do everything in front of a screen huh? Sometimes I go weeks…

James 5:7-12 – We Learn What from Job?

Soon after Holly and I had gotten married we moved into a really cool house. It was in an up and coming neighborhood on the West side of Atlanta, called Whittier Mill. From the name you can tell it used to be a mill community, and the houses (which will all built around 1896) that…

James 5:1-6 – A Preposterous Hypothesis for a Prosperous Metropolis

Last week we looked into James 4:13-17 and saw James condemn the arrogance of the wealthy. Why? Recall from the text that rather than submitting to the sovereign will of God these wealthy businessmen decided to form future plans and schemes to make a profit as if they were completely independent from God Himself. It…

James 4:13-16 – The Arrogance of Man and the Sovereignty of God

After our brief hiatus into our vision series last month, it is good to back in the book of James, and as we get back into James today and finish chapter 4 I have a thought for us to ponder. God is a great planner. As your pastor I am constantly and continually amazed that…

Revelation 21:1-12, 21:22-22:5 – That the Glory of God would be the glory of this city (Vision Sunday)

Today is a very special day for our church. We have devoted the entire month of October to focus on the greatest and grandest themes of all of Scripture - glory of God. We’ve seen the Lord high exalted, sitting on His throne, the train of His robe filling the temple and the seraphim crying…

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 – The Blazing Center

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my parents got me a baseball hat. It was a Cincinnati Reds hat. I didn’t really like or dislike any teams at that point in my life, I just loved baseball, I wanted to be a professional baseball player when I grew up, and I loved my…

Habakkuk 2:14 – Glory Filling the Whole Earth

As we are in our break from the book of James, we’re continuing our series on the Glory of God today by looking into the small book of Habakkuk located in that section called the Minor Prophets, which sadly, no one ever reads. I stated last week that gazing at or laboring to get a…

Isaiah 6:1-7 – Glory, Glory, Glory

It is now October, Reformation month, where most historically-thankful minded Protestant churches reflect upon the great recovery of Biblical Truth that God brought about in the Protestant Reformation. So, we’re taking a break from James for one month, to focus in on the grandest of all themes in Scripture, the Glory of God. The one…