Sermon: Watch Out

Watch OutRomans 16:17-20September 26, 2021 Despite our best planning, our sincere desires, and our extensive efforts not everything always goes according to our plans.  That’s true at work, in our homes, in our relationships, with our leisure activities, with our retirements, and even in our churches. When churches are loving, hard-working, enduring, truth-teaching, and grace-giving […]

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Those Lists of Names

My wife has a fondness for ancestral archaeology.  She likes pouring through lists of names and making familial connections.  She enjoys the hunt for ancient connections (“did you know that we have a family member who…?”) and is even more excited to find “unknown” family relations in our generation and even in our area of […]

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Sermon: So Many (Ordinary) People

So Many (Ordinary) PeopleRomans 16:1-16September 19, 2021 In Elmer Bendiner’s book, Fall of Fortresses, he recounts an air raid of Kassel, Germany, in the plane for which he was the navigator, the B-17 Tondelayo.  More than three decades after the event, he and the pilot met to remember the war together.  Eventually they talked about […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Prayer

“Pray Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary PrayerRomans 15:30-33September 12, 2021 Early this year, we decided to replace most of the fencing in our backyard.  It was rotting in several places and falling down in others.  So we counted the panels and pickets and headed to the lumber yard to buy replacements.  We were told that they only […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Vision

“Advance Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary VisionRomans 15:22-29September 5, 2021 William Carey has come to be well-known for his work in missions, but he started in relative obscurity.  When he first sought ordination from the Baptist church in Olney, he was rejected by them in 1785, before being ordained the following year and taking the pastorate of […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Message

“Preach Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary MessageRomans 15:17-21August 29, 2021 Some sermon topics invariably provoke listeners to experience a sense of guilt: Sermons on prayer lead to thoughts of “I don’t pray enough…” Sermons on evangelism lead to thoughts of “I don’t tell enough people about Jesus…” Sermons on missions lead to questions like “should I go?…” […]

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Sermon: Where We Go From Here

Where We Go From HereRomans 15:14-16August 15, 2021 What verse or passage of Scripture is most meaningful in your life?  What verse has changed your life?  There have been multiple verses that I have repeatedly referenced and found helpful:  Jn. 14:27; Ps. 19:14; Eph. 5:25ff; 1 Pt. 3:7.  And more.  What are your “influential verses?” […]

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Ecclesiology matters

In the past two months I have heard several allegations (some public and some private) about pastors who have plagiarized sermons.  The allegations also appear to be much more than allegations; some of the video evidence I’ve seen seems indisputable and indefensible.  I don’t know what motivates a pastor to take sermons that do not […]

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Sermon: Accept One Another

Accept One Another Romans 15:7-13 August 8, 2021 In the early 1980s I moved with my parents to a new city and our family began looking for a new church.  One Sunday we entered worship at another new place that (at least by name) sounded orthodox — and things seemed normal enough.  But as I […]

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Sermon: Liberty and Unity

Liberty and Unity Romans 15:1-6 August 1, 2021 I began praying for this church long before I knew the name of this church.  I knew that coming straight out of seminary to pastor a church that both the church and I would need particular attributes if we were going to thrive together.  Because I didn’t […]

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Sermon: Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another 1 Thessalonians 5:11 July 24, 2021 I love the story told by Larry Olsen in Outdoor Survival Skills: A guy has been lost in the desert for days. He’s out of food and water. His lips are parched, his tongue swollen. His legs are bruised and bleeding from crawling, his skin is […]

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It’s been a year

“It’s been a year…” How often did you hear that lament last year?  And how much more often have you heard it this year?  It’s not only been a remarkably unusual year — it’s been a remarkably unusual pair of years — politically, medically, socially, religiously, and for many of us — personally. But when […]

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Sermon: An Acceptable Debt

An Acceptable DebtRomans 13:8-10March 28, 2021 What makes a church a church?  Biblical preaching and teaching.  Corporate worship (including baptism and communion).  Purity of the gospel.  Evangelistic proclamation.  Generous fellowship.  Sacrificial service.  Church membership and church discipline. What makes Grace Bible Church Grace Bible Church?  What sets us apart and makes us unique?  What identifies […]

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When we sin in terrible ways

I did not know Ravi Zacharias.  I certainly knew of him and I have a couple of his books on apologetics, though I never read them.  I never attended a conference where he spoke, though I have had conversations with several people who were helped by his ministry of speaking and writing.  I heard of […]

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