Expositional Preaching

It’s been said that the health of a church depends on the proclamation of God’s Word.  If that’s true, and we believe it is, then a church needs clear, regular, and faithful bible teaching to remain and be fruitful in this world.  Since we believe the Bible to be God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), we have committed ourselves to knowing and understanding the meaning of the scripture in its original context in the shadow of the cross and then apply it to our lives.  This is called Expositional Preaching.  It’s our normal practice to preach through entire books of the bible verse by verse to better understand and apply the entire theme of the book.  There are also times when we focus on a theme from God’s Word and preach passages that speak to that idea. This makes us stay humble and faithful to God’s overarching story in the bible and forces us to preach passages of scripture that we wouldn’t normally choose to preach because of difficulty or cultural opposition.  We believe that the result of preaching God’s word in this way will be much like that of Psalm 19:7-11; revival, wisdom, joy, enlightenment, perseverance, righteousness, and reward.  Not to mention, we have seen the fruit of expositional preaching in the life of our church and individuals who consistently hear the gospel of grace on every page of scripture and we look forward to seeing continual transformation the the power of God’s Word and His Spirit.

Past Series

1 Timothy | define: Church | Spring 2016definechurch_theme.jpg

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a young pastor named Timothy who was living in the city of Ephesus.  Paul wants Timothy to know how the church ought to behave in light of the truths it believes. He spends his entire letter showing the people of God how they ought to look different from the rest of the world because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the church is supposed to be the called out ones who gather in the name of Jesus. We are called to new belief and a new way of life. We can’t simply say we believe one thing and live as if that is not the case.

In the 1st century and today, there was a blurring of the lines of who is the church and who is not the church. Our culture is dealing with many of the same issues that Timothy’s culture was dealing with: sexuality issues, gender roles, government divides, leadership in the church, false teaching, the poor and needy, etc.

It’s our hope to look closely at these scriptures and allow God’s word to be our guide as we define church. Who it is and who it isn’t. What it looks like and what it doesn’t. What it believes and what it shouldn’t.

define: Church Bible Reading Plan

define: Church Bible Reading Plan – Part II

Haggai | Consider Your Ways | January 2016

haggailogoHaggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament and 3rd from the end.  It was written to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity.  They had grown complacent in their faith and obedience to God and were more self centered than God centered.  They spent more time and money building their own homes than they did building God’s home, the temple.

Haggai writes to say, “Consider your ways!”  What an important and needed thing for us to do at the beginning of 2016, and especially in American Christianity.  Consider your ways!  Are you more God-centered or self-centered?  Consider you time!  Do you spend more time on God, others, or yourself?  Consider your thoughts!  What do you think about most during the day?  Does God even get any thoughts?  Consider your money!  What does your spending tell you about what you care about most?  There are so many places to apply this command to our lives.  However, we must make sure we never start doing these things out of guilt or hopes of earning something from God.  We can never earn something from God.  He has already given us everything we need for life and salvation, Jesus.  Anything we do for him in response to that gift is simply worship!

Bible Reading Plan

We have created a bible reading plan for our sermon series through the book of Haggai that will hopefully help you immerse yourself in this time period of the bible and the great truths that it has to offer!  We hope you will read along with us as a church and use this common reading as a way to disciple one another inside and outside the church.

It is a 6 days/week bible reading plan that gives you 1 extra day to catch up, read ahead, or read something else.  It includes the narrative (Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther) and prophetic (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) books of the Old Testament written after the Jews return from the Babylonian exile.  We have also included the Gospel of Matthew to balance our Old Testament reading and to see how many of these promises in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament through Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Haggai Bible Reading Plan

Advent | December 2015

advent15_FINALAdvent simply means the coming or arrival of a person, thing, or event.  Advent usually describes the time of preparation and focus leading up to Christmas which celebrates the coming of Christ from heaven to earth.  It starts on Advent Sunday, which is the 4th Sunday before Christmas and continues through Christmas Day.

This year we are taking 4 weeks to look at the 4 Gospels to see how each of the 4 Gospel writers presented the coming of Christ into the world.  Each of them tell of the same story, but they all tell it in their own way focusing on different details.  This gives us a beautiful mosaic of the birth and life of Jesus as God desired through this mosaic of 4 Gospels.

God’s Family & Your Family | November 2015

familypostcardfrontFamily Hurting?

You don’t have to look very far to realize that families are hurting.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a nuclear family, blended family, single parent family, family without kids, or single.  People are hurting and they are looking to be satisfied with relationships that were never meant to satisfy them.  Husbands are looking to their wives and wives are looking to their husbands for ultimate fulfillment that they won’t find in each other.  Parents are looking to their kids to make them happy and so they center their lives around them only to be let down.  Singles are looking around every corner in hopes of finding Mr. or Miss Right so they can enjoy the life they always dreamed of.

Misplaced Worship

But none of these relationship were ever suppose to bring us our ultimate joy and satisfaction.  If we treat them that way, they normally end up causing more pain than joy.  All people were created by God to find their joy and satisfaction in him.  Instead we worship his creation instead of him as creator.  Any of our horizontal earthly relationships are simply to be reflections of our vertical heavenly relationship with God.

Reflect the Image of God

We find out how we are to love our spouse by looking at how God loves his bride, the church, and how his bride should love him.  We find out how we are to love and discipline our kids by looking at our relationship with God as his children.  We find out how to be satisfied as single because we know we are never alone with God.  We even find out how we are to grow our families through multiplication and adoption because God created us in his image and adopted us into his family.

We will be looking at God’s Family and Our Family and how we can apply the truths and promises of our vertical relationship with God to our horizontal relationships with one another.  Bride and Groom, Multiplication & Adoption, Child of God, Single & Content, and Obedient Children.

Sent | September-October 2015

sent3When you send a letter, you send it with a specific purpose.  You labored over it, took time to write it, addressed and sent it, in hopes of it communicating certain things to another person!  In the same way, God sent Jesus from heaven to earth to not only communicate God’s love, but to show God’s love to the world.  As Christians, we are sent on mission just like Christ.  We are sent into the world to communicate and show the love of God to the world.  Romans 10:13-17 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”  In fact, Paul says that we are Christ’s letter delivered to the world (2 Corinthians 3:3).

We desire to live our lives sent on mission into the world as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).  As we seed the needs in the world we want to meet those needs and earn the right and opportunity to share  the gospel with the world.  However, this doesn’t happen unless we are in awe of who God is and what he’s done, while at the same time being humbled for the sin in our life and broken by the desperation of the world.  Then and only then will we offer up our lives to be sent on mission into the world.

Hebrews | The Thread | January-August 2015

The ThreadHebrews was written to a group of Jewish Christians to remind them and show them that Jesus and the Gospel are the thread that runs throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament.  The author says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  He goes to great lengths to show how much better and superior Jesus is to the old ways that were simply shadows and copies of what was yet to come, namely Jesus.

In this series we will walk through the entire book of Hebrews while jumping back into the Old Testament to look at the old way and to see the thread that points to Jesus and the better way!

The Thread Album

Make sure the check out The Thread Album Graham wrote as we were walking through Hebrews as a church.

Advent | December 2014

advent-logo-sliderAdvent simply means the coming or arrival of a person, thing, or event.  Advent usually describes the time of preparation and focus leading up to Christmas which celebrates the coming of Christ from heaven to earth.  It starts on Advent Sunday, which is the 4th Sunday before Christmas and continues through Christmas Day.

This year we are looking at the most detailed birth story of Jesus that we have in the Bible, the Gospel of Luke.  Luke’s Gospel is where we find all of those familiar Christmas stories that give us a better glimpse of what was happening almost 2000 years ago.

Second Nature | September-November 2014

second nature PPT COVERSecond Nature Life

What is Second Nature?  Well, when God created the heavens in the earth, he created mankind in his image.  Unfortunately the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, sinned against God.  Since then, all mankind inherited their sinful nature.  Thankfully, God made a promise way back then to defeat sin and death by sending his Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our sin.  For those who have been saved and have put their faith in Christ, God has overcome the death of our sinful nature and given us life in our second nature.  The old has passed away and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We were dead in our sins, but God has made us alive (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5).  Once we’ve been given this Second Nature Life, we are called to walk in this Second Nature Lifestyle.

Second Nature Lifestyle

Merriam Webster defines Second Nature as something you can do easily or without much thought because you have done it many times before.  We all have something we can do Second Nature.  Some of you can play an instrument second nature while others of you play sports.  But what if the basics of the faith, like prayer, reading, fasting, giving, disciple making, etc., were Second Nature to us.  These are far more important than any skill or talent for those who have been saved.  What if we committed to walk by faith and learned to grow in these areas so that they became Second Nature for us?  We are not saved by our works, but for good works for his Glory, our good, and others salvation!

This sermon series will look at what it truly means to be saved based on what God has done, not what we have done.  We will also look at what it means to live according to this Second Nature on a daily basis by diving into the basics of our faith.

Additional Reading

Part of living a Second Nature Lifestyle means we will be disciplined in our spiritual life to become more like Christ.  It doesn’t mean we work hard to earn anything, but because we’ve been given Second Nature Life, we strive to live in it to the fullest.  Spiritual disciplines are those things that help us deny ourself and draw near to God.  We want these things to become Second Nature for us as followers of Christ.  We want them to become the norm instead of the exception.  These books may help you in your journey to grow in the spiritual disciplines and Second Nature Lifestyle.

Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
Authentic, Developing the Disciplines of an Authentic Faith by James MacDonald
The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg

Psalms | Living A Life Of Worship | July & August 2014

the psalms ADD2The Psalms are one of the most often read books of the Bible, but one of the least often preached.  The Psalms are simply a collection of songs that people of faith would sing long ago.  These songs were gathered together to become the first Hymnal.  Songs are so important in every culture.  Not only do they have the opportunity to teach us knowledge about who God is, but songs normally connect with us on an emotional level.  This was true for David when he wrote many of the Psalms and this is true for us now.  Our prayer is that by reading, memorizing, preaching, and singing The Psalms we would grow in our understanding of who God is and our love and commitment to him on a daily basis!

Genres

Here are 2 resources we have created to help you better understand the Psalms.  They both explain the different genres or types of Psalms.  One is a chart and the other a list.  Use this to see what kind of Psalm you are reading each morning to better understand what is being communicated.  We hope this gives you better perspective.

Psalms Genres Chart
Psalms Genres List

Reading Plan & Scripture Memory

As a church, we will be reading through all 150 Psalms over 50 days.  That’s just 3 per day.  Parents, we hope you will choose one of these three daily psalms to read together as a family each night.  We will also be memorizing Psalm 1 & 54.  Both of these Psalms contain great truths about God and what it means to trust him.  We want to fill ourselves with God’s word in hopes of it renewing and transforming us day by day into the image of Jesus Christ.

Psalms Reading and Memory Plan

Psalm 54 Song

Graham Jones wrote a worship song for our church as we were preaching through the Psalms using every word from Psalm 54.  We hope you enjoy!

Psalm 54 Song

Missional | May-July 2014

MISSIONAL cover pptWe have a missional God who sent his son to earth to wrap on flesh on the greatest mission trip ever to save his people from their sins.  As his sons and daughters, we have become a missional people sent into the world sharing this good news audibly, visibly, and tangibly with anyone and everyone who will listen.  This means we go to the world and are willing to endure what if thrown your way aiming to please God, not man.  We bless those we come in contact with by being who God wants us to be, listen to the needs of others, engaging into their life, and showing and sharing the gospel.  We love God and love our neighbor knowing that Jesus loved God and loved us as his neighbor and was willing to lay down his life for us.  Like mothers who love their children so affectionately, we give the world not only the gospel, but our entire life. Like shepherding fathers we work tirelessly exhorting and encouraging others to faith!

After all, this is exactly what God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit did for us.  Why would we not do the same to glorify and honor him and bring others into his family as we continue the mission of God to the world.

Matthew | Your Kingdom Come | April 2012-April 2014

Your Kingdom Come Map NO DateOne of the most famous verses in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.  Our Father who art in heaven…I think you can probably finish the rest.  But what does it really mean.  Jesus told us to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  We would all love to have a heavenly life here on earth, but how?  Is it just a prayer? Is it just a metaphor? Or is it a goal we must not only pray for, but live our lives to accomplish.

The Christian life is more than just bringing people of earth to heaven…It is about bringing heaven to earth for the people.

Matthew spends his entire gospel showing the life and teaching of Jesus and how they fulfilled much of the Old Testament prophecies.  He points out the 1st and 2nd greatest commandments in the Bible, LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS.  He then commissioned us to MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations.

We hope to look at Jesus example of discipleship with the 12 and the world as he shared the truth of the Gospel and his life.  If we will commit to trusting the truth and living the life that he lived…The Lord’s Prayer will be answered.  His kingdom will come to earth because we are showing the love of Christ to the world in real and tangible ways and more and more people will put their faith in him.

Habakkuk | Conversations with God | October 2013

habakkukHabakkuk is an Old Testament prophet who wrote down his conversations with God for the nation of Israel to read and realize all that God was doing.  Habakkuk wonders where why God is allowing Israel to live in such idolatry and sin, yet he does not know that God is at work behind the scenes ready to punish Israel.  Habakkuk and Israel learn that it is the righteous who will live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).  Habakkuk is a great example of what it looks like to bring our burdens before the Lord in prayer.  Not only that, but Habakkuk asks God deep longing questions that he has regarding his life and God’s inaction.  Believe it or not, God answers him, though it is not like he expects.  Habakkuk responds in worship and recalls the mighty saving acts of God in a prayer of praise.

We can all learn a lot from Habakkuk if we would humbly bring our burdens and questions to the Lord, waiting patiently for him to answer, trusting him with the results, and praising him for his salvation and continued faithfulness in our life.

James | Saving Faith | April-June 2013

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Revelation 2-3 | The Church | October-November 2012

the church 1200x1600Revelation 2-3 contains 7 letters from Jesus to 7 churches in cities of Asia Minor, modern day Turkey.  These letters are letters of rebuke, encouragement, and exhortation.  They give us great descriptions of Jesus as the author of the letter.  These letters are so pertinent for all churches to inspect whether or not we doing what is expected by Christ or falling into sin away from Christ.  In the end, we are given a reminder and a promise that those who conquer and persevere till the end prove that they are his children and will get to enjoy the blessing he has for us in the end.

Discipleship | February-April 2012

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Jesus & the Gospel in the OT | November-January 2012

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The 6 Seeds | September-November 2011

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Colossians | Jesus is _____. | April-September 2011