Faith in the Scriptures (Acts 16:16-34)

On this Mother's Day we continue our sermon series based upon the vows of our Baptismal covenant.  We'll look at how the faith of Paul and Silas affected so many people around them, people to whom they may not have even spoken directly about Jesus Christ.  We also see the promise of Paul to the Roman Jailer, that if he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ then he will be saved - he and his entire family.  Our faith certainly affects the faith of those around us, particularly our families.  So we'll also take a short departure and recognize some of the women of faith in our families, to recognize how they have formed and shaped our faith. 

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 8, 2016


Loyal to Christ (Acts 16:6-15)

As we continue to look at our baptismal vows against the backdrop of the book of Acts, we come to this vow: Will you be loyal to Christ through the local church and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?  Today's scripture contains the account of Paul and Silas and how they were prohibited by the Holy Spirit from going into areas where they thought were most in need of the Gospel.  Instead, the Spirit led them to Philipi, a Roman colony with only a small Jewish population.  And sometimes when we think we are doing what God is calling us to do, God stands in the way and says "no."  At times like this, it's difficult to be obedient and not second-guess God.  But we must be loyal to Christ in all we do.

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 1, 2016.


Freedom and Power (Acts 11:1-11

We continue to take a fresh look at our baptismal vows against the backdrop of the formation of the early Christian church.  When we think of sin we rarely think of anything like freedom or power.  Yet our baptismal vow today asks if we accept the freedom and power God gives to us to resist evil, injustice and oppression.  That sounds like quite a good deal for us - freedom and power offered as a gift from God.  Yet it also comes with a caveat - that we take that freedom and power to resist.  The story of the Apostle Peter's evangelistic work with the gentile family of Cornelius is our framework.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 24, 2016.


Faithful Service (Acts 9:36-43)

We continue in our examination of our Baptismal vows in the United Methodist Church as we look at the account of the raising of Tabitha from the dead by the apostle Peter.  The beginning of our Christian walk is trust in Jesus Christ as our savior, but it doesn't end there; we also promise to serve him as Lord.  The problem for the modern church, especially in America, is that we have no point of reference for what it means to serve a lord, and why our commitment to the Lord of lords is so much greater than any earthly ruler.  We'll look at what that means and how Christians today can live in faithful service to Jesus Christ as their Lord.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 17, 2016


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