Passage: Ephesians 2:4-7
Having set forth the bad news of humanity’s condition without Christ, Paul now begins to rise in praise as he proclaims the good news of what God has done to save us in and through Christ. These are possibly the two best words in all of scripture: But God! Our hopeless condition in sin, slavery, and rebellion is overcome only because of God and his gracious, loving character. God’s grace actually reverses our fallen condition. This text should make our hearts soar in thanksgiving for what God has accomplished, just another example of the truth that God helps those who can’t help themselves.
Passage: Ephesians 2:1-3
We have just finished celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and were reminded that the essence of the Reformation was the recovery of the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. The word gospel means good news, and it is certainly that. But before we can get to the good news, it is essential that we understand the bad news, namely, that our fallen nature due to the sin inherited from Adam has left us spiritually dead and unable to respond to God. Only when we grasp the bad news can we truly recognize the amazing grace of God that is ours through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Passage: Romans 1:16-17
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the event that commenced the Protestant Reformation this morning, it is only fitting that we focus on the passage of Scripture that God used to open Luther’s eyes to help the church recover the biblical doctrines of salvation that had been lost or distorted for centuries. This is also a wonderful time to be reminded that the need for these reformation truths has not passed us by. They are as necessary and relevant as ever and we must all hold firmly, passionately, and uncompromisingly to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Passage: Ephesians 1:19b-23
Continuing this morning with this prayer for the Ephesians, Paul, as he is prone to do, goes off on a tangent of praise as he considers the true nature of the power of God that is at work in the lives of all believers and in the church of Jesus Christ. With Paul, we need to stop and contemplate this power. The Christian life is about far more than principles and theological points to be memorized. The Kingdom of God has broken into this world in the person and work of Christ, and those who have been united to Christ by faith now have access to amazing power that is guaranteed to change the world.
Passage: Hebrews 11:1-3
Faith is a complicated term. Ask ten people what it is and you are likely to get ten different definitions. But as evangelical Protestants who take the doctrine of sola fide (faith alone) seriously, we need to get our understanding of true, saving faith, not from the culture, or our own wishes, or even from the theological academics, but directly from the Word of God. Then, understanding the true nature of saving faith, we can take a look at our own hearts and lives to see if our faith matches up with the biblical teaching.
Passage: Ephesians 1:15-19a
Having completed a mind-blowing passage praising the love of God and his work of redemption, Paul now moves into a beautiful prayer for his readers. What we can learn from the apostle is that our prayers need to be focused more on others than on ourselves and that the primary need we all have as Christians is a greater experiential knowledge of God; not a god of our own imaginations, but the Sovereign God extolled in Ephesians 1 who has planned, accomplished, and applied a gracious work of salvation to his chosen people.
Passage: Ephesians 1:11-14
This morning, we conclude Paul’s profound doxology concerning the redemption that has been planned and accomplished by the Triune God. We now move to the application of our redemption in the work of the Holy Spirit. Because many Christians struggle with an assurance of their faith, this passage is especially meaningful, demonstrating that the confidence we are to have in being children of God is not found, first and foremost in ourselves, but in what God has done for us in Christ and promised to us through His Spirit.
Passage: Luke 18:1-8
This morning, Pastor Trey Richardson brings us the message from God’s Word on prayer. Every one of us knows how easy it is to get discouraged in prayer, either because our prayers are unanswered, or because we have begun to doubt the goodness and faithfulness of God. Using Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow, Pastor Trey will be encouraging us, just the way Jesus encouraged his disciples, to always pray and to not lose heart.
Passage: Ephesians 1:7-10
Today, we are continuing where we left off from last week’s sermon as we started to consider the grace bestowed upon us through the work of redemption accomplished by the Son of God. Previously, we looked at the personal implications of redemption. This morning, we will move beyond ourselves and see the overarching purposes of God to unite all things in heaven and earth under the authority and lordship of Jesus Christ.
Passage: Ephesians 1:7-10
As we continue moving through this opening portion of the book of Ephesians, one long and glorious sentence setting forth the riches of our blessings in Christ, we cannot help but be struck by Paul’s Trinitarian framework; each person of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, working in unison to plan, accomplish, and apply the work of salvation to our lives. This morning, we look specifically at the work of the Son, who took our place and ransomed us from bondage to sin and death, all as a part of God’s eternal plan to renew and restore a creation torn apart by the ravages of sin.