Luke Chapter Two is one of the most well known and loved passages in all of the scriptures. Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas even reads from it. In our series on the book of Luke, we have a fresh opportunity to look at this familiar passage without all of the distractions and assumptions that come with the Christmas season. As we slow down and look at this story again, we will see that Luke is drawing out for us some wonderful aspects of who God is and what He is like towards us.
What happens to our routines and the normal when God visits? For the initial characters in Luke’s gospel, normalcy lost its meaning. The old routines received fresh wind after a heavenly visitor turned their world upside down. These highly relatable characters mirror for us what can happen in our own lives when God visits.
* There was some technical issues with the audio this last Sunday. The video audio is from the camera only until about 8 minutes in to the message. Sorry for the inconvenience.
In the previous message, we saw God fulfill His promise to redeem the world through Jesus by announcing to Mary that she would give birth to the one who will be called the Most-High. In this message, will continue to journey through the birth narrative of Jesus, and on our journey we will see how Elizabeth and Mary each respond to this incredible news they have received.
In our previous message, we looked at the opening words of Luke’s gospel. One of the statements he made about his gospel was that he wrote an “orderly account.” One way we see Luke write in an orderly way is how he sets stories and scenes alongside of each other so that you naturally compare and contrast them. In this message, we will look at the parallel birth announcements of John the Baptist and Jesus. In doing so, we will see the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his promises.
In this message, we kick off a new series on the book of Luke, The Gospel For Everyone. Luke is not only the longest gospel, but it’s also the longest book in the New Testament. The book contains many unique stories and parables that are not found in the other gospels. As well, Luke paints a beautiful picture of how Jesus displayed and expanded God’s kingdom and covenant to all. Whether to the Gentiles, or women, or the poor or social outcast, Luke shows in a unique way how Jesus’ mission and message extended to those who would have been thought unworthy of it.
This message is the last of our four part series, Breaking Free From the Past. We have learned how generational sins and relational patterns are passed down from generation to generation. We have taken a journey through four generations of a family to underscore the sinful patterns that can be handed down to us. Then, we took a look at our own individual stories to ask the question, "What scripts are we living by and are they true?" In this message, we turn the corner toward healing as we revisit the same family line of Abraham and learn how the gift of a blessing can make all the difference in changing our story and becoming more like Christ.
Galatians promises us a glorious spiritual freedom. But how do we walk in and experience that freedom? In the first two messages, we have explored the unconscious imprints we've received from our families. Some of those are life-giving; some are not. In this message, we will turn the focus to our individual stories. Our past has created in us a story that frames how we see ourselves, others, and even God. But is our "reality" correct? Are the scripts we live by true? Some of the scripts that make up our reality may be why our lives and relationships are not working. Freedom comes in renewing our minds and it is vital to repairing our past.
No video available
How do I experience the freedom Paul promised in Galatians? Freedom from anxiety, crippling fear, or enslaving sins. How do I come alive in the way God wants for me? Is freedom just a nice platitude Christians wave about meaninglessly? Or can it be a reality? I believe it can be a reality, but it means getting Jesus deep into us--into our bones. To do that, we have to first go backwards.
We are all shaped by our past and for most of us, the primary shaper was our family of origin. Our moms. Our dads. Our grandparents and siblings. We inherit much more than wealth or things. As the saying goes, Jesus might live in our hearts, but grandpa lives in our bones.
In this series, we will gently unpack some of these "soul-shaping" characteristics passed down through families--realities like generational sins, relational patterns, scripts, and generational blessings. The freedom promised to us in Galatians empowers us not only to face our past, but to grow from it--not only in self-awareness, but in turning from destructive to life-giving patterns that can bless the generations after us.
When we think about investments, we are told to think about the long haul and not the quick return. We want to make sure we have enough when it comes time to draw from what we have invested. That means we expect there to be a greater return than what we put in. Psalm 90 looks at our lives as investments and looks very carefully at the maturity dates.
Do you remember the annoying kid in your grade school that went on and on endlessly extolling his or her virtues? Or maybe you were that kid? Adults need just as much validation, but are typically more discreet. Paul talks quite a bit about boasting in this concluding chapter of Galatians. He brings together all his major themes around the concept of a boast--or your source of glory. His narrative assumes we all must find our boast in something. Yet for the follower of Jesus, the cross-centered life turns everything upside down.
In the last message, Pastor Chris walked us through Galatians Chapter 5 where we saw what the impact of a spirit led life looks like. As we move forward in our Galatians series, we see that Paul still has some instructions for the Galatians in regards to how they live their lives. Paul takes a narrower focus and shows us how gospel-centered living impacts the relationships we have with those around us.
Is there such a thing as a "normal Christian life"? At first take, that sounds dull, boring, and predictable. Yet, when you drill down into the stories of "normal Christians," you will find just the opposite. The journeys believers can take are unique, creative, and adventurous. At the same time, there are areas of common experience. Every believer experiences a conflict, a struggle, and a battle within themselves. We are tempted to think this inner conflict is unique to us and not part of every Christian’s pathway. In this next edition of Galatians, Paul explains the source of the struggle and paints a picture of what a victory--a transformed character--looks like.
The cry for freedom against tyranny has produced some of history’s most unforgettable moments. The cries from William Wallace, Patrick Henry, and Martin Luther King are seared into our memories from movies, news reels, and classrooms. Paul, too, made an appeal for Christians to embrace, enjoy, and stand firm in their freedom. Unlike the earth-bound call for freedom, rejection of Gospel freedom has eternal consequences. In this next turn in Galatians, Paul gives a warning, lays out a diagnostic test, and makes his final appeal.
It has often been pointed out that there are two types of people: there are iPhone people and there are Android people; there are Coke people and Pepsi people; there are iOS people and Windows people. What we are going to see in this passage in Galatians is that the Apostle Paul also says there are two types of people: Ishmael's people and Isaac's people. There are flesh people and there are Spirit people, and there are slave people and there are free people. Paul’s question to the Galatians, and his question to us, is which person are you going to be? Are you going to move back into slavery under the law or are you going to live free in Christ?
Last Sunday we saw how Paul helped the Galatians understand their new identity as freed slaves who are now sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ. This week we will see Paul take a turn from the position of a theological teacher to the position of a concerned, caring Pastor who attempts to confront this new body of believers with a significant issue that is plaguing this church.
Until this point in Galatians, Paul has been laying out a very detailed and intricate argument to the Galatians about their justification--about how they were made right with God. And the language and imagery of justification is that of a courtroom: it’s judge and defendant; it’s guilty or not guilty. What we saw at the end of the last message is that Paul begins to make a shift. He begins to add this new language and this new imagery of family. He says in Galatians 3:26, “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
Walking through the letter to the Galatians has shown us the incredible blessings of the gospel. The gospel gives you an entirely new identity and community. In accepting the gospel, you become a child of God and part of a global family. The gospel also reconciles you to your past. The unattached become attached. The homeless find a home. The insignificant find significance.
We are sorry for the inconvenience, but due to technical audio and visual technical difficulties this weeks sermon will be unavailable.
Are you skeptical about your potential to change? Maybe you have followed Jesus for a long time and experienced only superficial and skin deep change. You have traded in a few bad behaviors and replaced some old hangups; but other than that, your heart remains untouched. This next segment of Galatians begins to explain how the gospel digs below the surface and transforms not only our behaviors but our hearts.