Sunday, September 18, 2022

How to Actually Love the Brethren - Nathan Rages

In this "Part 2" to last week's sermon on 1John 2:7-11, 3:11-19, 4:7-12, 4:20-21, and 5:1-2, we address seven frequently asked questions about "Loving the Brethren":
1. Who are these “brethren” that we’re supposed to love?
2. Is this about us feeling certain loving feelings? 
3. Can we love people that we don’t like?
4. Is it hyperbole to describe this as “laying down our life”?
5. In what specific ways do we demonstrate this love?
6. What are warning signs that we don’t love the brethren?
7. How should we apply this to our own assurance?

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Adorning the Doctrine - Mack Tomlinson

Titus 2:10 "not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect." 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Real Christians Love the Brethren - Nathan Rages

This sermon considers the Apostle John's second test whereby professing Christians may examine whether or not they are genuinely converted: the Test of Love, whether someone is loving other Christians.

We first examine the five passages in which John addresses the subject: 
1John 2:7-11, 3:11-19, 4:7-12, 4:20-21, 5:1-2

John's teaching on this Test of Love is surprising for several reasons: 
1. It is narrow in scope.  It ignores all other kinds of human love and focuses exclusively on our love for the Christians near us. 
2. It is described with much repetition and strong language.
3. It gives interpersonal relationships in the local church a high priority that is largely unknown in American Christianity. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Real Christians Obey Christ - Nathan Rages

Throughout his first epistle, the Apostle John sets forth a series of tests by which professing Christians may examine whether or not they are truly saved.  This sermon considers the Test of Obedience, whether someone is obeying Jesus' commands.

We first examine John's teaching on the subject in these five passages: 1John 2:3-6, 2:29, 3:3-10, 3:24, 5:3.

Then, in order to avoid possible misunderstandings, we address five common questions concerning the Test of Obedience:
Q1: Is this test somehow contrary to God’s grace?
Q2: Will a concern about obedience take our focus off of Christ?
Q3: If someone fails this test, does it mean he’s “lost his salvation”?
Q4: Do we lose our assurance every time we fall into some sin?
Q5: Should we expect to live in substantial victory over all kinds of sin problems?

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Cultivating a Biblical Church Culture - Dave Dickmann

Principles from the Epistle of James can instruct us in the culture God intends for our local churches:
1. Commit to enduring various trials together - James 1:2.
2. Pray together with expectation that God will give generously - James 1:5.
3. Humbly receive God's Word, which enables us to put off remaining sin and be saved from many problems - James 1:21.
4. Care sacrificially for needy ones - James 1:27.
5. Avoid partiality and divisions - James 2:1.
6. Value those who teach God's Word despite their various failings - James 3:1-2.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Testing Your Assurance - Nathan Rages

One of the main topics in the book of 1John is that of Assurance, meaning that someone is sure that he or she is actually saved.  

God wants every Christian to have Assurance (1John 5:13, Hebrews 10:22, 2Peter 1:10, and 2Corinthians 13:5).  On the other hand, the Bible warns us about having a false Assurance, meaning that someone thinks they are saved when they're actually not (Matthew 7:22-23, Titus 1:16, 2Timothy 3:5, Judas Iscariot, Simon the Sorcerer, and Demas). 

In John's letter, he repeatedly refers to three tests by which we can evaluate whether or not we are genuine Christians: 

1. Test of Obedience (to God's commands).  1John 2:3-6, 2:29, 3:3, 3:6-10, 3:24, 5:3
2. Test of Love (for the brethren).  1John 2:9-11, 3:11-12, 3:14-18, 4:7-12, 4:20-21, 5:1-2
3. Test of Truth (particularly about Christ Himself).  1John 2:22-24, 4:1-3, 4:15, 5:1, 5:5

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Christ Our Propitiation - Nathan Rages

"and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1John 2:2

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1John 4:10

Christ Our Propitiation
1. What does the word mean?
2. When did Christ accomplish this?
3. What was God’s motivation for doing this?
4. How do I know that it’s actually for me?