21Sep

S6E13: He Is Coming (We Believe… Pt. 9)

Our exposition of the Apostles' Creed brings us to the end of the Christological statement of faith. We who have embraced Christ by faith for forgiveness of sins can rest assured in the final judgment. But what about those who have not? Jesus said he will come again, and he talks about his return as a time of judgment - what the Old Testament calls the "great and terrible day of the Lord." Jesus came once as a savior. He will return as a judge. Though our society may want to clip the wings of Jesus and portray him only as loving and merciful, make no mistake: God is a God of justice, and He poured out His justice on Jesus at Calvary. He did that for you and for me. The question is, what will you do with the life God has given you in Jesus Christ?

Text: Matthew 25:31-46

Recorded at Hudson UMC on July 29, 2018

S.D.G.

17Sep

S6E12: He Ascended (We Believe… Pt. 8)

It is easy for us to slip quietly past this affirmation, but that would be a mistake. We are told so much in the Gospels about the earthly ministry of Christ and very little about the forty days after the resurrection, and less about the actual ascension (only Luke records his account in his Gospel and in the book of Acts). Yet the Ascension of Christ means three major things in the life of the Christian. It means that Easter is not over; it means that the incarnation is not over; and it means that we have a brother sitting at the right hand of God and interceding for us sinners. Indeed, affirming faith in the Ascension should be great joy for Christians everywhere.

Text: Luke 24:44-53

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 22, 2018

S.D.G.

14Sep

S6E11: He Arose! (We Believe… Pt. 7)

We come to the pivotal point in the Christology of the Apostles' Creed, and, as some might say, it's all uphill from here. Now, in the message today I make a strong assertion that to believe in the resurrection is nothing less than necessary for our salvation, and I stand by that statement (and back it up with Biblical text). Yet there are many in the church today, professing Christians, who either do not believe in the Biblical account of the resurrection or don't believe it happened at all. And if that is true, then we as a church, we as preachers of God's word, have failed in adequately emphasizing the importance of this one crucial aspect of the reality of Christ, that on the third day he rose from the dead.

Text: Matthew 28:1-10

Recorded at Hudson UMC on July 15, 2018

S.D.G.

12Sep

S6E10: Pastor Zachary Taylor (New Hope UMC, Penns Grove)

In July, New Hope UMC in Penns Grove received a new pastor, Zachary Taylor of Franklinville, NJ. He was appointed to replace the retiring PAstor Sherry Zappola, who has been a longtime friend of mine and a member of the Penns Grove Ministerium and the Wednesday prayer group I belong to. In talking with Pastor Zach I came to understand that, while we were very different in our politics, we are very similar in our view of the authority of scripture and the current state of the United Methodist Church, and indeed Christianity as a whole in modern-day America. This is the first of what I hope will be many conversations with local people in ministry.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 6, 2018

S.D.G.

10Sep

S6E09: Descended to the Dead (We Believe… Pt. 6)

To say that Jesus descended to the dead seems like a redundant statement after affirming that he was crucified, dead, and buried. To say that Jesus descended to hell (another translation of the Greek version of the Apostles' Creed) seems like a theological conundrum. How could Jesus, the Son of God, sinless and holy, descend to the place of torment where people who deny God and refuse His grace end up? Although we as Methodists do not regularly recite this affirmation in the Creed, it bears examiniation.

Text: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 8, 2018

S.D.G.

5Sep

S6E08: Crucified, Dead, and Buried (We Believe… Pt. 5)

Two major considerations face us today as we continue our examination of the Apostles' Creed. First, what is the point of mentioning Pontius Pilate? When Jesus was betrayed by so many - the crowds, the Sanhedrin, Judas Iscariot - why do we affirm that he "suffered under Pontius Pilate?" Next, we look at the dual nature of Christ and that he was fully God and fully human, as demonstrated in that he was "crucified, dead, and buried - none of which makes any sense if Jesus were only God and not human.

Text: John 18:33-19:16

Recorded at Hudson UMC on June 24, 2018

S.D.G.

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