Unity in disagreement for mission.

The mission of Jesus’s church is to bring glory to God by making disciples. Jesus taught us that unity is a cornerstone of this mission. Three enemies of unity are inaction, improper handling of disagreement, and false doctrine. This week we will examine the scriptures to find out how we can navigate disagreement well in the pursuit of unity and sound doctrine. And in so doing we will learn how to advance the mission: bringing God glory and helping people come to know him.


Sunday, February 21, 2021 Jude—Loved and Kept by God I remember once listening to some talk show, and the conversation was a discussion on what was better:  To love or to be loved.  I don’t recall their conclusion, but my Bible would say the place to start is to be loved.  Specifically, to be loved by God.  From his love for us flows our capacity to love him and to love others. 1 John 4 says, “We love because he…

2 Peter – Destructive Lies

2 Peter 2:  Destructive Lies In the past few years, our society has had a barrage of claims about truth and lies.   #fakenews.  Claims about election fraud.  Websites are devoted to verifying politicians’ statements. We are left to wonder, Who is telling the truth?  Or more cynically, Is anyone telling the truth? Truth and lies are hard to sort out. Parents know this.  A fight erupts from two children.  Mom and Dad put on their “Judge robe,” and sit at…

2 Peter, part 1 – A Fruitful and Effective Life

For the next several weeks, rather than a long walk through a single book of the Bible, or a thematic series, we’re going to take time to preach through some of the shorter books of the new testament. Two years ago we hit some of the shortest letters, 1, 2, 3 John – for the next five weeks we are going to cover 2 Peter, Jude, and Philemon. We’re starting with 2 Peter this AM and doing about a chapter…

Stewardship of Work

I. Introduction Today we are going to continue our mini-series on stewardship. We’re going to explore something that everyone in this room participates in, and will participate in — something that is so foundational to our existence that you literally can’t get out of bed without it. You can’t consume food or take a breath without it. It’s something that can be incredibly fun at times and incredibly frustrating at other times. It can result in far-away adventures filled with…

Stewardship of Money

SERMON POWERPOINT Sunday, January 10, 2021  Brad Barrett Stewardship—Money Slavery.  What an evil sounding word.  We think of slavery in the United States in the 1800’s and before.  Oppressive.  Brutal.  Inhumane.  We might also think of human trafficking today.  People held against their will for unspeakable evil.  People owning people.  A verse I shared in my sermon 2 weeks ago has been ringing in my ears every day.  Titus 2:14 ESV  Jesus Christ…gave himself for us to redeem us from…

The Final Rescue

This Sunday is the second Christmas Sunday! We have four days left! Hooray! 🙂 Christmas is the time of year when we, in a special way, remember and celebrate the birth of Christ, and the beginning of his rescue mission to find and save God’s lost sheep.  We carried our Advent series topic, Rescues, on into Christmas as well, because what bigger Rescue is there than Christ’s rescue of us?  Last week we talked about Christ’s rescue mission in offering…

New Beginnings

We all experience moments in our lives where we need a fresh start. A new beginning. The gospel, the story of Jesus Christ, offers a new beginning unlike anything else, a fresh start on life where God forgives sinners and makes them brand new. New creations. How can we experientially walk in this new life?

God’s Purposes in the Exile

God was powerfully at work even during the darkest, bleakest period of Israel’s history. The book of Daniel records some of the amazing things God did while Israel was captive in a foreign nation. Some of his purposes in the Exile were to reprove sin, refine faith, rescue from danger, reach the world, and reveal the future. There is a real sense that all of us, like Daniel, are in captivity, exiled from Eden, strangers in a foreign land and far from our true home. Yet God is at work in our lives with the same objectives as we see in the book of Daniel.

Esther and the Invisible God

Though God may often seem absent to us, he is conspicuously present in our lives to help us. He is our ever-present help in trouble. We will journey through the Book of Esther, and though God is never mentioned directly, his fingerprints are all over this remarkable story of rescue. From this story and especially from the ultimate rescue of Christ the Savior, our faith will be strengthened and our worship increased.

Rescue: Famine

This advent season, we are looking at  stories of God’s amazing rescues of his people through history. This week we are going to examine the life of Joseph as recounted in Genesis. We will see God’s amazing rescue of Joseph, and then using him to rescue the fledgling nation of Israel, and the whole world from a global famine. In this story we will learn that we can find hope and safety in God’s promises, no matter our circumstances on…

The Rescue of Noah in the Flood.

Ever feel like you need to be rescued from guilt, shame, or other problems? From where do we look for answers? God is both a righteous judge and a merciful rescuer, and we know this well through the coming of his Son, Jesus our Savior. In addition, throughout history God has repeatedly shown himself to deliver his people from judgment and death. This Sunday we’ll look at the shocking judgment of the Flood and the merciful rescue of one man and his family, an important picture of the Advent of Jesus Christ.

The Twenty-Ninth Chapter

As we look back on the 28 chapters of Luke’s account of the early church, we find Jesus making and keeping a promises to his followers: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…”  (Acts 1:8)  Notice the form of this verse. It’s not a mission statement. It’s not a command. It’s a promise: “You will be my…

Acts 20-28: Accomplishing the Mission, Finishing the Course

As the world gets darker, staying true to Christ becomes increasingly difficult. How do we stay strong in an ever-more-hostile world? Today we look at Acts 20-28 and see the fuel behind Paul’s love for the world, dedication to mission, and sacrificial selflessness. Despite hardship, imprisonment, scoffers, and shipwreck, he stays true to his mission and faithful to the Lord Jesus.

The Gospel for All People

Christianity is often accused of being a narrow minded religion, too limiting in its principles, too narrow in whom it reaches. In our sermon this week, we will see the breadth of gospel impact on social classes. And in simple yet profound terms, we will hear who God really is and what the way of salvation is.

Acts 15: Disagreements, Debates, & Decisions

In this week’s section, we examine several conflicts that arose in the church as they spread “to the remotest parts of the earth”. With gentiles now becoming a large part of the community of faith, the chosen people of God, how ought they operate? New situations and clashing cultural habits lead to some difficult conversations and decisions.  As we look at how the church handled these situations, we gain insight into how to handle disagreements and decisions in our churches today.

Acts 13-14: The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles

In this week’s passage, the Holy Spirit sends Paul and Barnabas out as missionaries to travel hundreds of miles, preaching the gospel to new regions. This pair of traveling evangelists will sail the seas, move past mountains, and survey new cities as they encounter a magician, government officials, religious leaders, and much more. But will the gospel be accepted or rejected? What unforeseen dangers await?

Acts 10: For the Nation

To enter the kingdom of God, language, ethnicity, nationality, and even how bad of a sinner we are do not matter. Only one thing is necessary.

The Conversion of a Christian Killer

This week, as we continue our Acts series, we see how the Holy Spirit worked to further his mission of expanding the church through one of the most dramatic and important conversion stories we see in the Bible: Saul of Tarsus. The “Hebrew of Hebrews”, was so zealous for God that he would not tolerate this new sect of Messianic heretics, followers of “The Way”.  They claimed that Jesus, the one who suffered the horrific shame of crucifixion, proving that…

Expansion to Samaria

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the man who died and went to heaven, and as he approached the pearly gates he came to Peter.  Peter asked him, “What have you done to be worthy of entering heaven? And don’t tell me about helping a little old lady cross the street.  People think  any little good deed will get them to heaven. Tell me something that’s significant. The man thought for a moment and said, “Well, there was the time…