Dec 19, 2021
Genesis 1:1-19 “Creation: Days and Kinds”
Series: Apologetics
  • Dec 19, 2021Genesis 1:1-19 “Creation: Days and Kinds”
    Dec 19, 2021
    Genesis 1:1-19 “Creation: Days and Kinds”
    Series: Apologetics
  • Dec 12, 2021Genesis 1:1-5; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:19-22; Revelation 4:11 – God Creates the Universe
    Dec 12, 2021
    Genesis 1:1-5; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:19-22; Revelation 4:11 – God Creates the Universe
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: The story of redemptive history and the Gospel itself begins with the Genesis account of Creation and the Fall of humanity into sin.  Already, in the first chapters of this story, we find elements of both Truth and controversy.  It is likely no surprise to you that the Biblical account of creation, even the very idea of an “intelligent designer” of the cosmos are beliefs that much of the scientific community challenges in a collision of worldviews that vie for the hearts of people the world over. Genesis 1, apart from its obvious intention to explain creation and the origin of all things, has many great Truths to teach us.  From the mere assumption of God’s eternal nature to His creative nature, from the might of His Omnipotence to the finesse of His perfect wisdom, we learn so much about God from these verses.  As we begin this journey, the Creation accounts found here are overflowing with Truth that can help us understand who we are and what we believe. Questions to take home:
    1. What are some of the key Truths that you have held in your life that you drew from the Genesis 1 account of creation?  How have those Truths helped you in talking about your faith?
    2. How have you interacted with some of the contemporary challenges to the Genesis 1 account of creation?  What difficulties have you faced with them?  Have any doubts arisen?  If so, what have you done with them?  What does a Biblical Worldview have to do with this?
    3. Pastor Jon talked about Gospel elements within the creature narrative, have you ever noticed that?  Reread the passages in the bulletin.  How do these help you better understand God’s plan for creation, your God-given identity, and what you believe about God?
  • Dec 5, 2021Luke 4:14-22 “Called and Sent”
    Dec 5, 2021
    Luke 4:14-22 “Called and Sent”
  • Nov 28, 2021The Seven C’s of the Bible
    Nov 28, 2021
    The Seven C’s of the Bible
    Series: Apologetics
  • Nov 24, 2021Joshua 3-4 “So That All the People Might Know the Lord”
    Nov 24, 2021
    Joshua 3-4 “So That All the People Might Know the Lord”
    Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service
  • Nov 21, 20211 Corinthians 15:1-5 “The Gospel is The Good News”
    Nov 21, 2021
    1 Corinthians 15:1-5 “The Gospel is The Good News”
    Series: Apologetics
    Questions to take home:
    1. What makes the Gospel actually Good News?
    2. Is it necessary for there to be bad news to understand the good news?
    3. If someone asked you to explain the Gospel in 5 minutes or less, where would you start and what would you include?
    4. One tool in explaining the Gospel would be to use the Seven C's as they relate to the Gospel: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these Seven C's?
    5. What other methods have you used or heard of that could be used in presenting the Gospel to someone?
    6. In what ways do you find yourself striving to achieve in the Christian life rather than allowing yourself to simply receive?
    7. What things did you grow up with or were you taught that made you believe it was the Gospel + ___________?
    8. What things are so important to you that you've made it the Gospel + _______?
    9. In what ways have you excluded others from the Christian faith or thought there's no way that person can be a Christian?
    10. How can you share the message of Jesus Christ with others this week?
  • Nov 14, 2021Deuteronomy 18:14-22 “Don’t Change God’s Word”
    Nov 14, 2021
    Deuteronomy 18:14-22 “Don’t Change God’s Word”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: Over the last two weeks we have been talking about the characteristics of Scripture; its Authority, Necessity, Clarity, and Sufficiency.  We have spent a lot of time in the first unit talking about the foundational nature of God’s Word, what it tells us about God, and what it says about itself as well.  In doing so, we have laid out an argument for the priority of God’s Word, the Bible, in the lives of Christ-followers and thus how it is to be the lens through which we view and interpret our culture and the world around us. Last week we talked about what makes up Scripture, namely the books of the Old and New Testament.  We continue that discussion about the “sufficiency of Scripture” this week by talking about how we are not to change Scripture.  While saying that we are “not to change God’s Word” may seem somewhat self-evident, we find ourselves in a constant barrage of suggested alterations.  Whether it comes from within the church, labeling something sinful as being “ok” or it comes from Christian political commentators referencing a party or election outcome, we must always be on alert, ready to test what we hear against the timeless Word of God.   Questions to take home:
    1. Have you ever heard someone say, “God told me ________”?  How did that statement make you feel?  Why do you think you reacted the way you did?  How did their statement line up with what you know of Scripture?
    2. Who are some of the obvious false teachers out there that you can think of?  What makes their message false?  How does the world see them and respond to them?  What does that tell you about their message?
    3. Is there anyone in your sphere of influence/influencers (friends, family, news, podcasters, etc.) that has made a false prediction?  Have any of them done that with God’s name attached to it?  What have you done with those individuals as far as the influence they have on your life and faith?  What does our Scripture today have to say about that?  Where/what/who does Scripture say is the source of such false prophecies & predictions?
  • Nov 7, 2021John 1:1-2, 14; Hebrews 1:1-4 “God’s Word is Complete”
    Nov 7, 2021
    John 1:1-2, 14; Hebrews 1:1-4 “God’s Word is Complete”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: Every time we celebrate a Baptism or Dedication we ask the parents a series of questions.  One of those questions is, “Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only true authority for faith and life?”  As we continue to lay our foundation on the Word of God, and on Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, we find ourselves faced with a rather interesting question: “why these books?” For many of us, growing up in the church we have just assumed that these books are the Bible because it is what we were taught.  There are, however, claims about other “inspired texts”, many of which are growing in popularity today.  The book of Enoch, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Apocryphal books (accepted by the Roman Catholic Church & Eastern Orthodox Church) are all out there.  Before we begin our journey through Scripture, we must first be clear on what Scripture is and why we accept the canon of Scripture that we do. Questions to take home:
    1. Have you ever taken the time to think about and wonder why the Bible is made up of the books that we acknowledge as being the Biblical Canon?  Following the message today, does it make more sense?  How does this understanding impact your faith and how you read Scripture?
    2. In the message today, we talked about both the authorship of the books of the New Testament as well as the timeline for their acceptance by the early Church.  Did you have any preconceived notions going into this message?  What new things did you learn?  How does this impact your view of the New Testament canon?
    The Belgic Confession, Articles 3-6, talks about the Word of God and its “completeness”.  Take some time to look up and read these articles again.  Make sure you reference any Scripture passages that they reference too.  You can find a link on our website:
  • Oct 31, 2021Isaiah 55:6-11 “The Four Characteristics of Scripture”
    Oct 31, 2021
    Isaiah 55:6-11 “The Four Characteristics of Scripture”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: We’ve been talking through the first Unit of our Apologetics curriculum over the past several weeks.  It is appropriately titled “God’s Word is our Foundation” and we’ve been looking very closely at the nature of God’s Word and what it reveals about who God is as well as what it says about itself.  These first 10 weeks set the stage for our journey through Scripture which will begin in a few weeks. Though many only think of today as Halloween, it is also Reformation Day!  One of the key elements of the reformation had to do with the emphasis on Scripture over and above the traditions and teachings of the Roman Catholic church.  “Sola Scriptura” means Scripture Alone, and is a reference to the primacy of God’s Word, yet it leads to a natural question: how can we know God’s Word can be trusted?  Several weeks ago, we Pastor Jim led us through a study of the attributes of God.  Today we are pausing from our curriculum to look at some of the attributes of Scripture and why IT ALONE is our sole source of Absolute Truth. Questions to take home:
    1. Have you ever had doubts or questions about any parts of the Bible?  What caused those questions?  What have you or should you do to resolve them?
    2. If the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is true, why does there seem to be so much disagreement among Christians about the teaching of the Bible?  How do you think Jesus would respond to these differing interpretations?
    3. Do you nourish your soul on the spiritual food of the Word as carefully and diligently as you nourish your body on physical food?
  • Oct 24, 2021Luke 24:13-25 “God Preserves His Word”
    Oct 24, 2021
    Luke 24:13-25 “God Preserves His Word”
    Series: Apologetics
  • Oct 17, 20212 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21 “God’s Word is our Guide”
    Oct 17, 2021
    2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21 “God’s Word is our Guide”
    Series: Apologetics
    Pastor Jim Harrison Preaching
    Sermon Title: “Love & Honor His Word”
    Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:9-11, 44, 48, 72, 89, 97-100, 103, 105
    Key Verses to Study: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21
    Sermon Outline
    A. Why We Love and Honor God’s Word
    1. The Scriptures are _________________________________________ (2 Timothy 3:16)
    2. God’s Word is given ___________________________ in the ministry (1 Timothy 4:12-13)
    3. The Bible’s unique authorship: human or divine? (2 Peter 1:20-21)
    4. The Bible has special QUALITIES:
    a) It is _____________________________________ (Psalm 119:89 & Isaiah 40:8)
    b) Functions as a _____________________________ for us (Psalm 119:105)
    c) Has power to ______________________________ (2 Timothy 3:15 & Romans 10:17)
    d) Makes us _________________________________ & more discerning (Psalm 119:98-100)
    e) Is extremely _______________________________ (Psalm 119:72)
    f) Loaded with _______________________________we all need (Psalm 119:103)
    B. Public Reading of Scripture – Case Study
    1. Ezra reads God’s Law aloud (Nehemiah 8:3-4a)
    2. Hearers actively _______________________________ to it (Nehemiah 8:5-6)
    3. Ministry of God’s Word included at least 3 elements:
    a) _____________________________ of the Word (Nehemiah 8:4-6)
    b) _____________________________ in the Word (Nehemiah 8:7-8)
    c) _____________________________ of the Word (Nehemiah 8:9-12)
    C. Loving & Honoring God’s Word Today
    1. Acknowledge the _____________________________ of the public reading of Scripture.
    2. Read and be _________________________________ to God’s Holy Word.
    3. Be committed to the ___________________________ of God’s Word.
    4. Make a commitment to _________________________ God’s Word.
  • Oct 10, 2021Matthew 3:13-4:1 “The Trinity”
    Oct 10, 2021
    Matthew 3:13-4:1 “The Trinity”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: The whole first unit in our study on Apologetics could be summed up with the word “foundation”.  We have spent the last three weeks and will spend the next 5-6 weeks establishing the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith as they are laid out in Scripture.  One of the most foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, as well as one of the most mysterious, is that of the Trinitarian nature of God. While you won’t find the word “Trinity” anywhere in the Bible, it is very clear that the Bible reveals God as existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  All three are present and active in Creation, the psalmist attests to each one at different times, and we are called to go out (and baptize) in the name of all Three.  Yet, Scripture is also clear that there is only ONE God, who was and is and is to come.  We, as humans, both speak this as the Truth that God reveals about Himself in Scripture and also hold in tension that it is impossible to fully comprehend. Questions to take home:
    1. What are some ways that you have tried to describe or explain the Trinity?  How have they been helpful to you?  In what ways do they fall short of the mystery?
    2. What is one thing that you find to be the most awe-inspiring about God’sTrinitarian existence?  What is the most confusing?  Which Scripture passages have you found to be most helpful?
    3. Take a few minutes to read the Athanasian Creed on the inside of this handout.  How does this Creed help you to better understand the Trinity?  How does this understanding affect your view of God?
  • Oct 3, 2021Genesis 1:1–2; John 1:1-5; Romans 1:18–23 “We Can Know God Exists”
    Oct 3, 2021
    Genesis 1:1–2; John 1:1-5; Romans 1:18–23 “We Can Know God Exists”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: One of the greatest questions that Atheists pose to believers is that of proof of God’s existence.  Because God is spirit, and therefore invisible, and because you cannot quantify Him in any scientific way, many hold that He simply does not exist.  Science, they say, has proven how and approximately when the universe began and how it exists today.  Everything that exists, they say, finds its beginning in the Big Bang and is the natural result of several billion years of a random evolutionary process that brought us to this point. While science may be able to explain, in varying degrees of specific language, the nature of the first seconds of the universe, it has yet to (and will not be able to) explain the root cause of the beginning of the universe.  What science has shown, however, is that there definitely was a beginning; the universe itself is not eternal.  In keeping with its own laws of physics, then, we (and they) know that there is a cause behind the beginning.  Nothing simply cannot appear from nothing.  Scripture, however, is very clear on this point: “In the beginning, God…” Questions to take home:
    1. Last week, Pastor Jim spoke about the attributes of God.  Which ones on the list he gave us really apply to the conversation about the existence of God?  How do they play a role in what you believe about who God is?
    2. What have you heard or been taught about the beginning of the universe?  What would you save are the theological implications (impacts on what you believe) of this teaching?  How do or don’t they fit in with what Scripture teaches about God?
    3. Part of apologetics is offering reasonable and well-thought-out answers to why you believe what you believe.  How would you respond to someone who says, “I don’t know how anyone could believe in God, there is no proof that God exists”?
  • Sep 26, 2021Exodus 20:1-6, 34:4-8, 14 “The Attributes of God”
    Sep 26, 2021
    Exodus 20:1-6, 34:4-8, 14 “The Attributes of God”
    Series: Apologetics
    Pastor Jim Harrison Preaching
    Bulletin Insert:
  • Sep 19, 2021Psalm 19:7-14 “God’s Word is Our Foundation”
    Sep 19, 2021
    Psalm 19:7-14 “God’s Word is Our Foundation”
    Series: Apologetics
    Thoughts for Reflection: In starting something new, it is always good to begin at the beginning.  Rarely does anyone pick up a book and start reading random pages halfway through the book.  In the same way, a builder does not construct the walls of the house before the foundation is set and secured.  Students do not finish their capstone college courses until they have completed all the rest of the necessary coursework.  For everything, there is a beginning, a starting line, a foundation.  For Christ-followers, our Foundation is the Word of God. In an age of relative truth, we begin a new season of discipleship, planting our proverbial flag on the foundation that is the Word of God.  One of the key values that drive our Mission and Vision at Hopkins Community Church is that of Absolute Truth: We affirm the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of the Gospel, and the absolute truth of scripture.  Amidst the storm of relativism, Scripture is our anchor, our foundation, or shelter. Questions to take home:
    1. What are the ways that God’s Word is identified in Psalm 19?  Can you think of other ways that Scripture talks about itself in the Bible?  How do these Truths transform your view of Scripture and its place in your life?
    2. Pastor Jon talked about “Worldview” during the sermon.  How would you describe “worldview” to someone?  With that in mind, what is your worldview?  What is the source of your worldview?
    3. What is one of the most pressing problems in society today?  Take some time to search through Scripture (use the Bible, an index, google, etc.).  What does it say about this?  How can you apply these Truths to your life?