SERMON PODCASTS

 
Check out some of the most recent messages below. Sermons are downloadable for on-the-go listening.
Older messages can be found on Pastor Jon’s YouTube Channel
 

Sep 15, 2019
Romans 10:20-11:10 “Remnant”
Series: Romans
Elijah had just experienced a great victory against the prophets of Ba’al, seeing it’s prophets destroyed and it’s alters torn down.  Just when the reader would think that he was set for life, the wicked queen Jezebel puts a bounty on his life. Scripture records Elijah’s deep struggles with God, feeling like He has abandoned Elijah with nowhere else to turn.  God responds by revealing to Elijah the presence of a remnant. While the reality of God’s choosing these 7,000 people and, in His sovereignty, keeping them “for Himself” has a great deal to do with the concept of Election and grace, it also reminds us of something important: God is always at work.  Though it seems that the whole nation of Israel had turned against God, there was a group that had not. Even today, as we look at the landscape of culture and even the church, when it seems like so many are compromising and turning away, God is still at work in and through those that He has called to Himself. Questions to take home:
  1. 1 Kings 18-19 provides the context for the references Paul makes in Romans 11.  Read them. What jumps out at you? Can you relate to how Elijah feels in chapter 19?  How does God’s response there make you think differently about your difficult life situations?
  2. In Paul’s continuing discussion about Israel and Jesus, he makes the point here that, despite the Jew’s rejection of Jesus, God has not rejected them.  Salvation is available to them and God is still at work. How does this relate to you? Do you have people in your life that you are longing to see come to Jesus?  How does this message comfort you? What are you going to do about it?
  3. All of this, Paul reminds us, is a work of the grace of God and His commitment to fulfilling His promises.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:20-22. How does this statement relate to the rest of what Paul is saying here? What does this mean for your life in Christ?
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Sep 15, 2019Romans 10:20-11:10 “Remnant”
    Sep 15, 2019
    Romans 10:20-11:10 “Remnant”
    Series: Romans
    Elijah had just experienced a great victory against the prophets of Ba’al, seeing it’s prophets destroyed and it’s alters torn down.  Just when the reader would think that he was set for life, the wicked queen Jezebel puts a bounty on his life. Scripture records Elijah’s deep struggles with God, feeling like He has abandoned Elijah with nowhere else to turn.  God responds by revealing to Elijah the presence of a remnant. While the reality of God’s choosing these 7,000 people and, in His sovereignty, keeping them “for Himself” has a great deal to do with the concept of Election and grace, it also reminds us of something important: God is always at work.  Though it seems that the whole nation of Israel had turned against God, there was a group that had not. Even today, as we look at the landscape of culture and even the church, when it seems like so many are compromising and turning away, God is still at work in and through those that He has called to Himself. Questions to take home:
    1. 1 Kings 18-19 provides the context for the references Paul makes in Romans 11.  Read them. What jumps out at you? Can you relate to how Elijah feels in chapter 19?  How does God’s response there make you think differently about your difficult life situations?
    2. In Paul’s continuing discussion about Israel and Jesus, he makes the point here that, despite the Jew’s rejection of Jesus, God has not rejected them.  Salvation is available to them and God is still at work. How does this relate to you? Do you have people in your life that you are longing to see come to Jesus?  How does this message comfort you? What are you going to do about it?
    3. All of this, Paul reminds us, is a work of the grace of God and His commitment to fulfilling His promises.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:20-22. How does this statement relate to the rest of what Paul is saying here? What does this mean for your life in Christ?
  • Sep 8, 2019Romans 9:30-10:21 “Confess and Believe”
    Sep 8, 2019
    Romans 9:30-10:21 “Confess and Believe”
    Series: Romans
  • Sep 1, 2019Romans 9:1-29 “God Keeps His Promises”
    Sep 1, 2019
    Romans 9:1-29 “God Keeps His Promises”
    Series: Romans
    If you do your chores I will take you to get some ice cream." Maybe you've heard this promise given to you; maybe you've been the one to give it. Though it seems straight forward, kids always seem to try to find a way around it. At the end of the day, though, if the child doesn't do what they are supposed to, they don't get to experience the great reward that was promised.  None of us would blame the parents for not bringing disobedient kids to get ice cream if they didn't do as they were asked.
     
    Paul uses a similar analogy here in talking about Israel and God's promise. Do the coming of Jesus and the institution of justification by grace through faith mean that God has turned away from the people He called? Does this nullify the promises of God to His covenant people? No!  Not at all, Paul would say, it is the ultimate fulfillment of God's original intentions and desires for His people from the very beginning.
     

    Questions to take home:

    1. Paul says of the beginning of chapter 9 that he wishes he could be cut off from Christ for the sake of his people. What do you think he means by this? Is there anyone in your life that you feel this way about? How can you tell about God's love this week?

    2. Paul makes the point that in Jesus there is the fulfillment of God's promises, not the abandonment of them. How does knowing that faith and grace were the points all along change the way you look at and read the Old Testament?

    3. Take a moment to read the first half of Ephesians 1. How do you understand the concept of election, God's sovereign choice in salvation? Is it comforting or concerning to you? How does it encourage you toward missional living?

  • Aug 25, 2019Romans 8:17-39 “Reflections”
    Aug 25, 2019
    Romans 8:17-39 “Reflections”
    Series: Romans
    Pray Philippians 4:6-7 Ephesians 6:10-20 James 1:5-8; 5:13   Reflect Matthew 6:25-34 Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11 Psalm 139:1-5, 23-24   Listen James 1:19 (through 22) Colossians 3:12-17   Listening well leads to Reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5:18 Ephesians 4:32 Matthew 5:9 (James 3:17-18), 23-24 Matthew 18:15-17   Thank Philippians 1:3-6   Focus Romans 8:31-39 Hebrews 12:1-2
  • Aug 18, 2019Romans 8:31-39 “Assurance”
    Aug 18, 2019
    Romans 8:31-39 “Assurance”
    Series: Romans
    When Moses sent the 12 spies into Canaan, they came back with a report about the greatness of the land.  The food was great, the land was great, the people were great and their fortresses and defenses were great too.  All of them acknowledged the reality of the greatness and the potential obstacles that they would run into. Perspective, however, colored their response to that present reality. Ten of these spies responded in fear; only two would have echoed Paul’s words at the pinnacle of his writing in Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  They knew full well that it wasn’t going to be easy; they may have even known that they couldn’t do it on their own. But to them, it didn’t matter. God has promised them that land and they knew that with God on their side, nothing would stop them from victory! Questions to take home:
    1. Read Number 13-14, the account of the spies being sent into the land of canaan.  How does this account relate to Paul’s words at the end of Romans 8? Be honest for a moment: which group of spies do you think you would fall in?  How has that been challenged or confirmed in our Scripture today?
    2. The concept of Jesus as both judge of and payment for our sins cannot be understated!  It is the summary and conclusion of Romans 1-8. What does this mean to you? How does it impact you?  How does it challenge the way you practice your faith?
    3. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  There is also no separation from God for those who are in Christ Jesus!  How does this truth make you feel? How does it impact your faith walk?
  • Aug 11, 2019Romans 8:18-30 “Suffering, Sovereignty, and Truth”
    Aug 11, 2019
    Romans 8:18-30 “Suffering, Sovereignty, and Truth”
    Series: Romans
    Talking about suffering is difficult; we all have our own unique experiences with the difficulties of this life, both small and large. Pairing this conversation with God’s Sovereignty, recognizing that nothing happens outside of His allowance can be even more troublesome. Debates about how God, who is the measure of all goodness, can allow such seemingly awful things to happen often end in confusion and questions. Paul takes on this difficult subject though, coupling it with God’s sanctifying work in our lives and reminding us that we don’t suffer alone. All of creation is groaning because of the effects of sin on it. All of it, including our own difficult experiences and pain, is a part of a growing process that, Paul says, will give birth to great glory and freedom on that great and glorious day when with all of creation we will see God and be with Him for all eternity. Oh, how we wait for that day! Questions to take home: Paul opens this section by talking about suffering in our lives. In what ways do you experience suffering? How does your experience of suffering draw you closer to Jesus? How does it make you more life Jesus? As we wait (patiently, of course) for the ultimate revealing of Jesus and the fullness of our Salvation, there are times when it seems too much to handle. How does it make you feel that, when we are overwhelmed, the Spirit of God is still praying on your behalf? What does that change for you in the midst of whatever trial you may be going through? Read Isaiah 43:1-3 & 55:8-9. Now read Romans 8:28 again. What is your definition of “good” in your life? How do you think that definition compares to God’s “good” plans for you? How does this comparison lead you to greater trust in God?
  • Aug 4, 2019Romans 8:1-17 “The Spirit of Life”
    Aug 4, 2019
    Romans 8:1-17 “The Spirit of Life”
    Series: Romans
    Before I chose to follow God’s call on my life, go to seminary, and ultimately become a pastor, I worked in the Emergency Room of a local hospital.  If you’ve ever experienced a significant career or job change, you understand that there is a whole section of my brain that contains the now useless knowledge that I attained there.  Stocking levels for rooms, billing codes, how to order supplies, and all sorts of other things that I’ll (hopefully) never use again.
     
    This is the sort of dichotomy that Paul has been describing between a life lived “to the flesh” and one lived “in accordance with the Spirit.”  Like the ER information, sin is still very much a part of my life, but I don’t live my daily life using, or even pursuing it; I seek to live into being a Pastor now.  And in following God, rather than this other life, I find myself growing deeper in my relationship with Him as well.
     

    Questions to take home:

    1. How do you think the life that is “set free from the law of sin and death” looks?  Read Romans 5:1-11. What similarity to your first answer did you see? How do you see these characteristics in your own life?

    2. Paul points out that believers have within them the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  What does he say this means for us? How do these words impact your view of the process of Sanctification (progressive spiritual development/separation from sin)?

    3. The language of Romans 8 changes in verse 12. Paul starts using the term “we” and using more intimate descriptions of our relationship with God.  What does the notion of “sonship,” being adopted as God’s children, mean? How does it deepen your understanding of God’s love and grace?

  • Jul 28, 2019Romans 7:7-25 “The Battle Within”
    Jul 28, 2019
    Romans 7:7-25 “The Battle Within”
    Series: Romans
    In battle, the ability to draw the enemy out into the open in order to defeat it gives an incredible advantage and ensures a certain victory.  The enemy has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and the full force of its strength is known. This sort on encirclement means unmitigated defeat for the enemy, be it through direct attack or through surrender by way of isolation and attrition. Paul, in his exposition of God’s Law, has revealed the fullness of sin’s presence in the hearts and lives of all humanity.  The Law has, in effect, put sin on full display so that all can see its full strength and depravity. At the same time, Scripture is also showing us the answer to this problem as well: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Messiah.  And with the full force of sin exposed, the full power of both God’s wrath and God’s grace are seen clearly in sin’s defeat on the cross! Questions to take home:
    1. Think back to the story of Adam & Eve and that of Israel, from Egypt to Sinai to the Promised Land.  What similarities can you identify? Where does God’s command (Law) come into play and what is its effect?  How do these narratives reflect your own life’s story?
    2. Think about the statement: “The problem here is not the Law, but rather sin’s presence within us.”  How does this statement change the way you think about the Law? How does it change the way you think about sin?  Where does Jesus come into this picture?
    3. Paul’s explanation of the Law shows both the depth of our sinful state and the magnitude of the salvation that we offered by the grace of God through Jesus Christ when we come to faith.  Take a moment to think about that. Share the thoughts and feelings that come to mind. Be sure to take time to thank God for this incredible gift!
  • Jul 21, 2019Romans 7:1-6 “FREEDOM! For What?”
    Jul 21, 2019
    Romans 7:1-6 “FREEDOM! For What?”
    Series: Romans
    Freedom, it is something that we as Americans celebrate as a part of our culture; it is the premise on which our country is found.  Freedom, however, does not imply lawlessness or anarchy. Christian freedom is much the same. Scripture says in 1 John 3:4 that sin and lawlessness are one and the same.  Christian freedom is not a license to sin, it is a freedom from the bondage of sin. When a person breaks the law, they are guilty of their transgression of it.  Their punishment is both just and right. However, if a person dies, they no longer be punished.  Scripture points to the fact that, in Jesus Christ, we have died to sin and to the law because Jesus Christ both took the punishment and, Himself, died.  Therefore, we are freed from the penalty of the law, taken by Christ on the cross, and are then freed to live in grateful and joyful obedience to it. Questions to take home:
    1. Read Psalm 19:7-14.  (For other references, see Psalm 119)  How does the Psalmist regard God’s Law?  What posture does the Psalm take with it?  How can our lives reflect this same regard and posture?  How does Psalm 1 speak to this?
    2. Read Romans 7:4-6 again.  How are we made free from the Law?  From what aspects of the Law are we freed?  What does it say we are to do with this freedom?
    3. Last week we talked about “respectable sins,” those small sins that Christians tend to deem as being acceptable.  Yet Scripture tells us that Sanctification is the process of being separated from sin. Last week we asked the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin in our lives; how have you listened and obeyed the Spirit’s promptings this week with regards to that?
  • Jul 14, 2019Romans 6:15-23 “Sanctified”
    Jul 14, 2019
    Romans 6:15-23 “Sanctified”
    Series: Romans
    Education prepares you for future employment.  However, as many of us have learned, a major amount of learning and growth in required “on the job” for every job that we’ve had.  No matter what job it is, you don’t really take on the title of the job for that specific company until you’ve learned and can work in the unique dynamics that make each job unique. Paul, having spoken of the truth of God’s justification of sinners by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ, now turns to the application of this truth.  Sanctification is living into the new identity that we have received and the freedom that is ours in Jesus Christ; it is justification applied. Justification is a declaration, Sanctification is a process.  Justification is a removal of the guilt of sin, Sanctification is a healing of the dysfunctionality of sin Questions to take home:
    1. Paul makes a sharp comparison between obedience to sin and obedience to Christ.  How are these different? Does Paul offer any middle ground?
    2. What is the difference between obedience to Christ and Christian legalism?  Which do you think is easier? How does Scripture call us to live and how does that impact you? 
    3. How do we reconcile the fact that we are “free from sin” but we still have sin in our lives?  What changes with regards to sin in our lives when we come to Jesus? How has that changed in your life?
  • Jun 30, 2019Romans 5:12-21 “The Significance of One”
    Jun 30, 2019
    Romans 5:12-21 “The Significance of One”
    Series: Romans
    There are few adults in the U.S. that will ever forget the events of September 11, 2001.  Planes crashing, buildings falling; death & fear were rampant across the media for weeks. Yet, even now, the memorial of the events of that day sits in the shadow of a building far greater and more magnificent than the iconic World Trade Center towers.  Freedom Tower, as it is called, stands as a message of resilience in the face of evil. No human on this earth will ever escape the reality of sin either.  Through the actions of Adam, we are all predisposed and naturally bent toward sin and away from God.  Yet, in the midst of the stark reality of this rebellion, God introduces His Son, Jesus the Christ, to bring about His great gift of salvation by grace.  The cross stands, overshadowing the reality of sin, and God’s grace exhibits an incomparably greater gift of life, one that completely erases sin and death. Questions to take home:
    1. Paul states, at the beginning of this passage, that “sin entered the world through one man…”  Who is this one man? What do you know/believe about him? What does Scripture have to say about this one man?
    2. Though not the main focus of this passage, we talked about two important doctrines today: Total Depravity & Original Sin.  How would you define these two doctrines in your own words? How do they impact your understanding and experience of salvation?
    3. Paul contrasts the greatness of grace over and above the reality of sin in human life and experience.  How have you experienced God’s grace in your life? Take some time to honestly reflect on this… and then tell someone about it!
  • 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?