Why love others?

In the New Testament, God tells us how to care for others in the church body.  Frequently we find those instructions in conjunction with the word “brothers” — as in, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your […]

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How To “Excel Still More”

Jesus said that the way for the world to know that we are followers of Him is to love one another (Jn. 13:34-35). A dominant theme of the “one anothers” in the New Testament was that the individual believers have a mutual love and care for one another (Rom. 12:10; 13:8; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:2; […]

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Sermon: Excel Still More

  Excel Still More1 Thessalonians 4:9-12January 2, 2022 I have been asked many times (most often by visitors), “What is your vision for the church?” I haven’t always known how to answer that question. Sometimes that question implies other things like, “How big do you see the church being in five years? Ten years?” “What […]

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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: 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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Expect persecution

In America, we feel entitled.  We have a constitutional right to life, liberty, and happiness, we believe.  The constitution actually says, “the pursuit of happiness,” but in this day, we believe that to mean that we should have happiness (and ease) without having to labor for it.  We should not have trials, difficulty, suffering, or […]

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When civil disobedience is permissible

When the Scriptures speak about the Christian’s relationship to the government, the emphasis is consistently on the civil obedience, not civil disobedience. For instance: The believer is to pray for his civil authorities (1 Tim. 2:1–3) The believer is to submit to his civil authorities (Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:13–15) The believer is to obey […]

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The saving gospel

The gospel is powerful to save.  Both the Old and New Testaments provide ample illustrations of the saving power of God.  While the Old Testament often stresses the temporal salvation of God’s people (e.g., Ex. 14:13; 15:2), there are other demonstrations also of God’s power to spiritually save sinners (e.g., Ps. 77:14-15; Is. 12:2; 52:7, […]

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Sermon: A Life of Service (Pt. 2)

“Caring for One Another:  A Life of Service” (Part 2) Romans 1:11-15 August 2, 2015 A number of years ago, London resident Simon Thompson was trying to push his stalled BMW off a road in a London suburb when another driver called out, “Do you want a hand?” And then the car’s back doors flew […]

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