13Dec

S5E28: We Adore Christ (Who We Are pt. 3)

When we pursue an object of our love, be it a person or some other thing, we go after it with everything we have. In the same way, Christ gave everything out of love for us. Why, then, wouldn't we as a church respond in adoration for our Lord?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on November 19, 2017

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12Dec

S5E27: We Preach the Gospel (Who We Are pt. 2)

We continue looking at "Who We Are" as a church by examining the central message of everything we do: the Gospel (or the Good News).  But many modern Chistians face a dilemna: we don't know how to put the Gospel into words, and some of us don't really know what the Good News is, exactly.  In American society the Gospel has become watered down into a feel-good self-help message that doesn't challenge us out of our comfort zone.  Jesus said the Gospel would be an offense and a stumbling block.  But we are called upon to preach the gospel at all times, and so preaching the gospel as a church is what makes us who we are.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on November 12, 2017

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4Dec

S5E26: We Believe the Bible (Who We Are pt. 1)

What does it mean to be a Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching, Christ-adoring church?  We will be looking at this question over the next three episodes, beginning with the first part: who are we as a Bible-believing church?  What is the United Methodist stance on the Bible as God's holy word?  And what is the theological foundation of our belief?  We begin looking at Who We Are by first affirming: We Believe the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on November 5, 2017

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26Nov

S5E25: All For God’s Glory Alone (Five Solas Pt. 5)

The final sermon in our series commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Soli deo gloria means that everything we do is for God's glory alone. He alone is God and worthy of all praise, glory and honor.

Romans 11:33-36

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 29, 2017

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31Oct

S5E24: Grace Alone (Five Solas pt. 4)

The Church in the time of Luther added the burden of meritorious works and the sale of indulgences to the sufficient work of God's grace, and Luther and the reformers sought to free God's people by dismantling the scaffolding.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 22. 2017

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30Oct

S5E23: In Christ Alone (Five Solas pt. 3)

Having established that we are justified through faith alone, the question remains: faith in what, or whom? The Bible tells us that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved. The Reformers restored to Christ's followers the understanding that it is faith alone in Christ alone, and that Christ is our only savior, the only sacrifice, and the only mediator between a holy God and sinful man.

Acts 4:5-13

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 15, 2017

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25Oct

S5E22: Faith Alone (Five Solas pt. 2)

With our foundation built upon Scripture Alone, we continue our observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with our look at the doctrine of Sola Fide - we are justified by faith alone, not by works. This flies in the face of the Catholic doctrine of Luther's time (and affirmed at the Council of Vatican II in the 1960s) that we are justified at the time of baptism but need continual practice of the sacraments of Communion, Penance, Matrimony, Extreme Unction (last rites), and, for the chosen few, Ordination, in order to maintain our salvation. Luther showed by Biblical texts that we are justified by faith alone and not by works, so that no one may boast in themselves but in what Christ did on the cross.

Romans 3:21-4:9

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 8, 2017

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23Oct

S5E21: Scripture Alone (Five Solas pt. 1)

We begin a new series based on the five "solas" of the Reformation. It was five hundred years ago on October 31 that Martin Luther nailed his protest, titled "Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," more commonly known as the Ninety-Five Theses, to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany. Five hundred years later, we mark the occasion by examining the principles of the Protestant Reformation and how they apply to us today. We begin with a foundational principle, Sola Scriptura - scripture alone is the final authority.

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 1, 2017

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10Oct

S5E20: A Gospel-Worthy Life (Philippians 1:21-30)

Paul exhorts the church in Philippi to live a life worthy of the gospel. In today's lesson from Philippians we examine what that means, and also what Paul means when he says "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 24, 2017

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9Oct

S5E19: Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)

In the prayer that we often call "The Lord's Prayer," we say "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." But think about it. If God forgives us the way we forgive others, does that make us feel good? Or are we lacking in our forgiveness, according to God's standard of forgiveness?

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 17, 2017

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