Check out some of the most recent messages below. Sermons are downloadable for on-the-go listening.
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Jun 23, 2019
Romans 5:1-11 “Salvation Defined”
Series: Romans
This morning we talked about six truths that are ours when we are justified by grace through faith.  Rather than offer reflections this week, I encourage you to write them down and then reflect on what each one means to you personally.  What is one verse that was used that impacted you?  How can you apply each one to your life or current circumstances? Truth 1:  I have _______________ with God. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 2:  I am _________________ in _______________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 3:  I ___________ in ____________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 4:  I am ______________ of God’s __________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 5:  I have _______________ in my __________________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 6:  I have ___________ in God through Christ. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?
  • Jun 23, 2019Romans 5:1-11 “Salvation Defined”
    Jun 23, 2019
    Romans 5:1-11 “Salvation Defined”
    Series: Romans
    This morning we talked about six truths that are ours when we are justified by grace through faith.  Rather than offer reflections this week, I encourage you to write them down and then reflect on what each one means to you personally.  What is one verse that was used that impacted you?  How can you apply each one to your life or current circumstances? Truth 1:  I have _______________ with God. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 2:  I am _________________ in _______________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 3:  I ___________ in ____________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 4:  I am ______________ of God’s __________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 5:  I have _______________ in my __________________. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?   Truth 6:  I have ___________ in God through Christ. Key Verse:  ______________________________ What does this mean for me?
  • Jun 16, 2019Romans 4 “Faithful Father”
    Jun 16, 2019
    Romans 4 “Faithful Father”
    Series: Romans
    Every good point needs an illustration; Romans chapter 4 is just that, an illustration. The Jewish people often look to their past for examples on how to live.  Great people like David, Joshua, and Moses would be people they would seek to emulate. There was, however, no one in their history quite like Abraham. Apart from being the father of their nation, Abraham’s legacy is one of unrelenting faith in God. Many Jewish people would have pointed to Abraham’s works of obedience or the fact that he was circumcised as reasons for his righteousness before God.  Paul, in illustrating his argument for justification by grace through faith in chapter three points out that Abraham believed God which led to obedience and all this before he was ever circumcised.  Genesis 15 says that this posture of faith is what God credits to Abraham as righteousness, which is the very same grace we see given through Jesus Christ. Questions to take home:
    1. Last week Evan talked through Romans 3:21-31.  How would you, in your own words, explain “justification by grace through faith” (3:22-25)?
    2. Paul appeals to the timeline of Abraham’s life as an argument for the priority of faith and its relationship to grace.  God called Abraham, he believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness, and then he was circumcised. What implications does this have in your walk with God?
    3. There is a relationship between faith and obedience that Paul is working out here.  They are intimately related to each other and both are important. What do you think their relationship is?  Which comes first? How does one impact the other?
  • Jun 9, 2019Romans 3:21-31 “Justification”
    Jun 9, 2019
    Romans 3:21-31 “Justification”
    Series: Romans
    Guest Preaching: Evan Crowe
  • Jun 2, 2019Romans 3:1-20 “God’s Faithfulness”
    Jun 2, 2019
    Romans 3:1-20 “God’s Faithfulness”
    Series: Romans
    With everything that we’ve talked about in Romans 1 & 2, one might come to the conclusion that we have no hope.  Left to our own abilities, that would be true. Paul says we have no advantage at all. The World is sinful. The people of God, despite having God’s revelation, are sinful as well.  We’ve all been unfaithful; no one, by themselves, can reach righteousness. But here, at our lowest point, when all hope is lost, that Paul reminds us of the greatest truth there is: GOD IS FAITHFUL.  Despite our sin, all that is in us that separates us from God, He has always and will always keep His promises. In His great mercy, God has provided us with the Law, so that we may truly know ourselves and therefore know our true need for a Savior. Questions to take home:
    1. Paul begins chapter 3 speaking of the advantage of the Jews.  What does He say that advantage is? What advantages do we as followers of Jesus have in today’s world?  What do you think Paul would say about them?
    2. Verse 3-8 create a false argument to justify sin.  How have you found yourself justifying sin in your life?  Have you ever knowingly done something sinful while thinking “there’s grace for that?”  In what ways does this cheapen God’s grace to you?
    3. When you hear the word “Law” used in the Bible, what do you think of?  The true point and purpose of the law is revealed here in verses 19-20.  How do Paul’s words match up with your own thoughts? How does this change or challenge your perspective?
  • May 26, 2019Romans 2:17-29 “Security System”
    May 26, 2019
    Romans 2:17-29 “Security System”
    Series: Romans
    Most people, at some point in their lives, have carried a life insurance policy on themselves and/or their spouse.  This insurance is meant to be security for if something unthinkable would happen; we never intend to have to use it and hope we never will.  We wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) dream of such a policy as a license to live recklessly, risking our life frivolously, thinking that our stupidity or carelessness could be made up for with money upon our death. This is, however, the very notion that Paul addresses with the church in Rome regarding Judaism.  They thought that, simply because they had the Law, they had the Land, and they had the sign (circumcision), they were somehow exempt from God’s judgment.  Claiming this led to hypocritical teaching and lifestyles that, rather than leading to God, led many away from Him. Paul’s thoughts lead to the obvious, but unsaid question: Does the Church do this too? Questions to take home:
    1. Paul lists off a number of things that Jews referred to themselves as a part of their religious identity in verses 17-20.  Do some of these feel familiar for us as followers of Jesus? Are there things in Christianity that we cling to for our religious identity?
    2. Hypocrisy is not so much about a desire to live up to high standards but rather about holding others to standards one is unwilling to keep themselves.  Where do you find yourself guilty of this? Do we as a church do this too?
    3. Read Deuteronomy 30:6.  What does “Circumcision of the heart” mean?  How does it happen? How do you experience this reality in your walk with Christ?
  • May 12, 2019Romans 2:1-16 “No Excuses”
    May 12, 2019
    Romans 2:1-16 “No Excuses”
    Series: Romans
    Whereas sin is a rather unpopular topic both within and outside the church today, Paul spends a considerable amount of time on it at the beginning of Romans.  Chapter 1 looked specifically at the “gentiles,” or those outside of the people of God, not privy to the Law or God’s covenant with Abraham. He turns his attention however, in chapter 2, directly toward the people of God.
    As God’s people, but then and now, it is very easy for us to look around and point our fingers at the sin in everyone else.  Yet what we fail to remember is that we, who so quickly pass judgment on others, are ourselves subject to God’s righteous judgment as well.  We fall into the same trap as the people of Israel, thinking that we will somehow be exempt from God’s righteous judgment, and so we pay no mind to our own sins.  Our Scripture today warns against such a stance.

    Questions to take home:

    1. Have you ever found yourself judging another person?  Maybe it was the way the looked or acted; perhaps it was something they were doing.  How did judging that person make you feel? How does that feeling impact your ability to show God’s love to them?

    2. Read verses 6-11 again.  How does it make you feel that the basis of God’s judgment is the same, equal and without favoritism?  If this is true, how does the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ give us hope?

    3. Last week in church we were asked to think of a deep, dark, secret sin that we hold in our heart.  We were challenged to bear that before God, repent of it, and give it to Him. How have you experienced new freedom in this past week?  

  • May 5, 2019Romans 1:18-32 “Speaking of Sin”
    May 5, 2019
    Romans 1:18-32 “Speaking of Sin”
    Series: Romans
    It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise when I say that talking about sin is unpopular.  We like to hear about grace and remember that Jesus offers forgiveness, however, we don’t like to be uncomfortably reminded that we do wrong.  Sin is something that we have swept under the rug; it is a subject we seem to avoid at all costs. Yet, despite our avoidance, it is as much a fact as any that sin is a foundational and integral component to the message of the Gospel. Our reality one of sin.  There are lists and lists of sins throughout the New Testament and one doesn’t have to look far to find out that we are guilty.  We cannot help it, sin is engrained in us and we cannot free ourselves from it. Simply put: we NEED a Savior. You see, without sin, there is no need for a Savior… no need for Jesus.  But thanks be to God, He provides a Savior and Salvation in His only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord! Questions to take home:
    1. Paul talks about the revelation of God’s wrath.  What do you think the term “God’s wrath” means? Where are some places that you’ve heard this term used?  Have they informed (for better or worse) your understanding of God’s wrath?
    2. Read verses 21-23 again.  What do you think Paul is saying here?  How have you tried to put God in a box? What was the result?
    3. There is a whole list of sins toward the end of the passage, all lumped together.  None is given more importance than the others. Do you find any sins you have committed in there?  Have you found yourself trying to justify your sin as “lesser” than others? What does Scripture have to say about that?
  • Apr 28, 2019Romans 1:1-17 “Bold Beginning”
    Apr 28, 2019
    Romans 1:1-17 “Bold Beginning”
    Series: Romans
    Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is one of the most significant letters in the whole of Scripture.  In it is contained the entire Gospel story as well as Paul’s explanations of what happened through the life of Jesus and what it means for us as believers.  He goes on to talk about the impact on the lives of those who follow Christ, the obedience that comes through faith. As he opens His letter, Paul sets the stage for things he is planning to write to the church in Rome.  He lays out who he is (calling), who Jesus is (Gospel), and what it means for his readers to believe in Jesus (faith).  Each of these “churchy” words comes loaded with meaning and also the assumption that, if you go to church, you know exactly what they mean.  As we begin our journey through Romans, we are going to clarify what Paul means when he uses these words and how they can embolden us to live our faith and proclaim the Gospel unashamed. Questions to take home:
    1. In the opening of his letter, Paul describes himself as being a servant of Jesus, called to be an Apostle, and set apart for the Gospel.  What do you think each of these terms means?  How do you relate to seeing yourself through a lens like this?
    2. Paul’s first impulse, when he thinks about the church in Rome, is to give thanks to God because of the reports of their faith.  Is this something that we do when we think about our fellow believers? Do you think others would/could do this when they think about Hopkins Community Church?
    3. Read verses 16 & 17 again.  What does Paul mean when he uses the word “Gospel”?  Where does the Gospel’s power come from? What is the impact?  How can you live in a way that shows you are unashamed of the Gospel?
  • Apr 21, 2019Mark 16 “Resurrection Reactions”
    Apr 21, 2019
    Mark 16 “Resurrection Reactions”
    Series: (All)
    The wonder of the Resurrection is often overshadowed by our familiarity with the narrative of that early Sunday morning.  We know the story and how it turned out and so we read right over the emotions and reactions of the women at the tomb.  When we do this, the Easter narrative becomes just another story in our religion. But... the Easter narrative is not just another story, it is THE STORY of Christianity.   Christianity without the resurrection is not like a book where the last chapter is ripped out, the Christian faith without the resurrection of Jesus is literally nothing.  1 Corinthians 15 says, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins… but Christ has been raised…”  The Resurrection of Jesus is everything in our faith, and it changes everything in this world! Questions to take home:
    1. The stone is a big part of the Easter narrative, a massive barrier between the women and Jesus.  Are there things in your life that you see as a barrier between you and your relationship with Jesus Christ?  How does the truth of God’s work here speak to that?
    2. Why do you think that the women in Mark’s account of the Resurrection left in fear?  Have you ever experienced fear when you are talking about Jesus? Where do you think that comes from?
    3. What is one thing that stands out to you in the narrative of the Ressurection, either here or in the other Gospels?  How does it impact your faith? How does it impact how you live?
  • Apr 18, 2019John 13:1-17 “True Servanthood”
    Apr 18, 2019
    John 13:1-17 “True Servanthood”
    Series: (All)
    Maundy Thursday Worship
    Rev. Andrew Phillips, Hopkins United Methodist Church, leading communion.
  • Apr 14, 2019Luke 19:28-44; Matthew 19:16-30 “Why Give?”
    Apr 14, 2019
    Luke 19:28-44; Matthew 19:16-30 “Why Give?”
    Series: (All)
    Scripture records that as He approached Jerusalem, with crowds cheering, singing, and waving their palm branches, Jesus wept over the city.  It doesn’t seem like a normal response for this particular event, but the depth of Jesus passion and desire for His people to know God’s love is both stark and profound. Jesus is fully aware of what is about to take place in His life.  He is also completely aware of what is going on in the hearts of those people who are, at this moment, cheering for him and will be, in just a few days, calling for His death.  This, I think, is what brings about this overflow of emotions. Jesus wants our hearts, not just empty cheering on a given day. It’s easy to show up and sing the songs and say the words, but God wants more… to see our whole lives transformed and freed! Questions to take home:
    1. Think about the two times that Scripture records Jesus weeping.  What are the commonalities between Jesus emotions surrounding Lazarus’ death and His reaction to seeing Jerusalem?
    2. Jesus has two separate interactions prior to His entrance to Jerusalem with the rich young ruler and with Zacchaeus.  Compare these two narratives and the results; what can we learn from them?
    3. Following Jesus’ triumphal entry, during what we consider to be ‘Holy Week,’ there are a number of times when Jesus interacts and teaches around the subject of money.  What are they and what do they teach us about our heart when it comes to giving?
  • Apr 7, 2019Ephesians 3:14-21 “Why Pray?”
    Apr 7, 2019
    Ephesians 3:14-21 “Why Pray?”
    Series: (All)
    Over the season of Lent, we have been challenged personally to commit to the daily reading of Scripture, prayer, and tithing.  We would probably be hard pressed to find a professing Christian that would say that prayer is not an important part of a believer’s life.  Like reading Scripture, we know that prayer is important but far too often this important discipline finds itself in the peripheral part of our lives, rather than at the center. Paul, after explaining the truth of the Gospel to the church in Ephesus, dives into a beautiful and impactful prayer for the believers there.  In reading Paul’s prayer, we not only see the importance that he places on prayer as it relates to the message of the Gospel but can also learn from the focus and specificity that he brings before God on their behalf. Questions to take home:
    1. Read through Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus again.  Now, read through the Lord’s Prayer as Matthew records it (6:5-15).  What similarities do you notice? Differences? How do these two prayers inform your own prayer life?
    2. Read Philippians 4:4-9 & 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  What does this say about the importance of prayer? Do you find yourself bringing everything before God and thanking Him for His response?  What do you need to change to live more faithfully into this Scriptural teaching?
    3. Read Acts 2:42-47.  What did the followers of Jesus devote themselves to.  Do we as a church devote ourselves to these things? What ideas do you have to help us as a church better be about these things?  Please send them to someone in leadership!!
  • Mar 24, 20192 Corinthians 9:8 “Tell Your Story” – GEMS Sunday
    Mar 24, 2019
    2 Corinthians 9:8 “Tell Your Story” – GEMS Sunday
    Series: (All)
  • Mar 17, 2019Luke 14:25-35 “The Cost of Commitment”
    Mar 17, 2019
    Luke 14:25-35 “The Cost of Commitment”
    Series: (All)
    Most of us probably have some sort of image in our mind, whether from cinema or Sunday School, of Jesus carrying His cross toward Golgotha, the place where He would later be crucified.  Jesus, was not, however, the only one to do this. It was common practice in those days to force criminals to carry the crossbeam of their mode of execution on their back to the place of their eventual death. All this was done in very public fashion, humiliating the individual, and sending a clear message to the masses.  Everyone knew that the cross-carrier was on a one-way journey. In Luke 14, Jesus’ command to take up your (our) cross and follow Him carries much the same theme: this should be a one-way journey.  There is (or should be) no turning back. If we give our lives over to Christ, following Him, modeling Him, and walking if faith is non-optional. Questions to take home:
    1. When people look at your life, do you think that they see that you are on a one-way journey with God?  What things do you think they would see as evidence of that? What things might give them pause?
    2. Take a moment to think about your past week.  How much time did you set aside to spend with God in His Word or in prayer?  Did you meet that goal? What things helped or hindered you from accomplishing your goal?
    3. A challenge to “take up your cross” for the next month, until Easter, was given in church today.  Will you take the challenge? What do you need to do, whether adding or taking away, to make it happen?
    The Challenge:
    - Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
    - Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
    - Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
  • Mar 10, 20192 Corinthians 9:8 “Be a Blessing” – Cadet Sunday
    Mar 10, 2019
    2 Corinthians 9:8 “Be a Blessing” – Cadet Sunday
    Series: (All)