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Sunday, August 12, 2018

 

Note: This is the third message in a three-part sub-series on human sexuality. Please remember as you listen that Pastor Dave and Grace Bible Church are fully aware that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that we must in all humility be mindful of our own sinfulness as we attempt to make anyone aware of theirs (Matt 7:3-5). But it is our biblical duty to speak the truth (Ezek. 33:2-7) and to do so in love (Eph. 4:15), whether the message is a popular one in our time or not (Eph. 5:16, 2 Tim. 4:2). 

The Bible says we're ALL broken, and for some people, brokenness shows up as homosexuality.

So our response to homosexuality should be no different than the way we respond to other sins: with love and compassion.

There's a popular (and true) statement: We should love the sinner, but hate the sin.

That's what God does for us! It may help to think of him like a doctor, who loves his patients but hates the disease (sin) that afflicts them.

God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. (Romans 5:20)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)

To download the audio of today's message, click here.

For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

 

Note: This is the second in a three-part sub-series on human sexuality. Please remember as you listen that Pastor Dave and Grace Bible Church are fully aware that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that we must in all humility be mindful of our own sinfulness as we attempt to make anyone aware of theirs (Matt 7:3-5). But it is our biblical duty to speak the truth (Ezek. 33:2-7) and to do so in love (Eph. 4:15), whether the message is a popular one in our time or not (Eph. 5:16, 2 Tim. 4:2). 

In today's message Pastor Dave illustrated the corrosive and progressive nature of sin, and described how far unbridled passion can go when left unchecked. 

The focus was on homosexuality, though the lessons can be applied to other areas of our lives as well.

When we choose to do things that defy God's instructions, those actions have a damaging effect on the soul. And when people do things that damage them internally, that damage will eventually affect the external world.

"No man is an island…" John Donne (1572 - 1631)

To download the audio for today's message, click here.

To download the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

 

Note: This is the first in a three-part sub-series on human sexuality. Please remember as you listen that Pastor Dave and Grace Bible Church are fully aware that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that we must in all humility be mindful of our own sinfulness as we attempt to make anyone aware of theirs (Matt 7:3-5). But it is our biblical duty to speak the truth (Ezek. 33:2-7) and to do so in love (Eph. 4:15), whether the message is a popular one in our time or not (Eph. 5:16, 2 Tim. 4:2).

Pastor Dave continues the "Got Questions?" series with a three-part answer to a question submitted by a member of our congregation: "What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?"

In western culture today, confusion reigns supreme in the areas of marriage, sexuality, the value of human life and the human body, and morality in general. The very existence of absolute truth is being questioned, not only in areas of morality but also in previously established areas of science.

To find truth we need to listen to someone who knows truth, as the blind men did when they listened to the wise man in the story about the elephant.

God is the source of all truth. His perspective is infinite and eternal, and it is far more certain than the ever-shifting opinions of culture.

And when God calls something a sin, it is indeed a sin. 

"A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." – Pastor Dave Zierenberg

We are all stained by sin and are not worthy to stand in God's presence (Romans 3:23). Thankfully our sins can be washed away through accepting God's free gift of salvation through Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

To download the audio for today's message, click here.

To download the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

 

Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only in relation to some particular culture or historical period.

But there are some problems with that view:

  • It is self-defeating: it is a moral judgment itself, yet it makes an absolute claim that moral judgments are always relative to culture or history.
     
  • There are variations in some areas, but all cultures throughout history have some form of the statement "treat others the way you want to be treated." (Source: the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
     
  • The denial of moral truth can lead to an abandonment of scientific truth. This is an increasingly common phenomenon in the 21st century.
     
  • It destroys the concept of basic rights. Slavery, killing your newborn, human sacrifice, all could be considered "true for the people in that culture / historical period."
     
  • It can lead to what C.S. Lewis termed "chronological snobbery": the assumption that what we believe is automatically superior to what people used to believe.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12 NIV)

Angels are God's servants, or messengers. Demons are angels who rebelled against God.

The Bible teaches us that our world is caught in the crossfire of a spiritual war between God and the angels who rebelled against him, including Satan.

Right now, God is allowing the battle to continue, because he is building his church. 

Jesus gave his followers authority over demonic spirits. That's the good news.

The bad news is that sin attracts evil spirits. We open doors for Satan when we compromise on truth and righteousness.

For example, see Ephesians 4:26-27, where Paul tells the church in Ephesus that even a seemingly harmless sin like anger can give the devil a foothold.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

 

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

 

In the book of Acts (chapter 2) the Holy Spirit kickstarted the Christian church by enabling Jesus' disciples to speak in languages they had never known before, and as a result thousands of people from many countries heard the truth about Jesus and became Christians in a single day.

This God-given ability to speak in a language unknown to the speaker is also called "the gift of tongues." And one of the questions submitted for the "Got Questions" series was "Is it possible to speak in tongues (still)?" 

There are denominations that consider speaking in tongues to be a cornerstone of their theology, a litmus test as to whether a person is truly a Christian or not.

But then what are we to make of passages such as Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 12:13, etc?

To download to the audio of today's message, click here.

To download a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, July 01, 2018

 

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. (John 14:16a NLT)

Jesus sought to assure his disciples that even though they would face many hardships after he returned to the Father, that they would not go through them alone.

The same is true of those who have surrendered their lives to Christ through the ages, and it is still true today. The Advocate of whom he spoke, the Holy Spirit, will:

  • Be in you
  • Never leave you
  • Guide you into all truth
  • Be the representative of Jesus
  • Remind you about what Jesus taught

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

 

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (Romans 12:2a NLT)

Have you ever noticed that no one has to teach kids to be defiant? The word "No!" is often one of the first words they master.

Humans are rebellious by nature. We have rebelled against God; that is the essence of sin.

But our understanding of sin is clouded by modern baggage. What the original Hebrew and Greek terms mean is "to miss the goal" or "to miss the target".

The new life in Christ is a process: we must allow God to transform us by submitting our thoughts and our entire lives to him.

Transformation of this level takes time, like the metamorphosis of a catepillar into a butterfly.

To download the audio of today's message, click here.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

 

A best-selling book in the 1970s made the prediction that Jesus would return in 1988. Obviously he didn't.

But what are we to make of passages like Matthew 24:32, and the fact that modern Israel was established in 1948?

Before jumping to a conclusion, it's best to take a tip from the Berean Christians (Acts 17:11) and cross-reference a passage like that with others in the Bible that address the same issue, such as Luke 21:29.

Also covered in today's 9th installment of the "Got Questions?" series:

1. Is Replacement Theology biblical? (In layman's terms, has the Christian Church supplanted the Jews as God's chosen people?)

2. Will God be able to raise cremated Christians from the dead?

Pretty fascinating stuff. To download the audio for today's sermon, click here.

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Sunday, June 03, 2018

 

Today Pastor Dave addressed three more of the questions that were submitted by members of the congregation earlier this year:

1. How did Jesus know he would rise from the dead?

2. How close are we to the return of Christ?

3. Why is the book of Revelation so difficult to understand?

These questions are actually closely related: the first leads into the others, and so on.

And an important part of the answer is found in 2 Peter 3:14 (NLT): "And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight."

In other words, be ready! That should be our focus, because only God knows what will happen in the future, and when.

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." (Corrie Ten Boom)

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

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