Sunday, May 24, 2020

Diligently Preserving the Unity of the Spirit - Nathan Rages

"with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:2-3

1 The divine origin of the unity.

2 The human responsibility for the unity.

3 The character qualities necessary to preserve the unity.

a) Humility

b) Gentleness

c) Patience

d) Tolerance

e) Love

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Midweek encouragement: God Isn't Limited by Your Smallness - Nathan Rages

Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”  1Sam. 14:6

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Walk Worthy of Your Calling - Nathan Rages

Eph. 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.

This verse introduces the *second half* of the book of Ephesians. Chapters 1-3 are mostly doctrinal teaching while chapters 4-6 are mostly practical living topics.  Accordingly, we note seven common pitfalls in Christians' pursuit of personal holiness:

1 Undermining the Gospel by thinking wrongly about holiness.

2 Failing to strive vigorously for personal holiness.

3 Emphasizing holiness in one area while ignoring obvious sin in other areas.

4 Making too much of matters that are not clear in Scripture.

5 Proudly comparing yourself to others.

6 Despairing over slow growth in a certain area.

7 Being content with mere words or feelings rather than long-term change.

Then we use this verse to summarize the New Covenant process of growing in personal holiness:

Step 1: Understand who you are now in Christ, your glorious position, privileges and identity.

Step 2: Act like the person that you already are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Midweek encouragement: Justified, O Blessed Thought! - Nathan Rages

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."  Rom 5:1-2

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Power Beyond All that We Ask or Think - Nathan Rages

Eph 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

This famous doxology about God's power breaks down into three parts:

1 The vastness of God's power. “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”

2 The workplace of God's power.  “according to the power that works within us”

3 The glory resulting from God’s power.  “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Midweek encouragement: O Valiant Warrior! - Nathan Rages

Judges 6:12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him [Gideon] and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Midweek encouragement: God has Promised to Guide You - Nathan Rages

Filled up to All the Fullness of God - Nathan Rages

Sermon is about the climactic final request in Paul's prayer at the end of Ephesians chapter 3, "to be filled up to all the fullness of God".  There's nothing bigger or bolder in the whole Bible about Christian experience than these words!  But what do they mean exactly?

Three things this does *not* mean:

1 This is not something that only happens in heaven.

2 This is not about God giving us certain blessings or spiritual gifts.

3 This does not mean we "become God" in some way.

Four concepts this *does* point us toward:

1 Union.

2 Likeness.

3 Control.

4 Satisfaction.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Knowing the Love of Christ - Nathan Rages

Eph 3:18-19 “That you … may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge...”

1 The SOURCE of this love: "the love of Christ"

2 The KNOWLEDGE of this love: "comprehend ... know ... knowledge"

3 The DIMENSIONS of this love: "breadth and length and height and depth"

4 The SHARING of this love: "with all the saints"

Midweek Encouragement: Celebrating God's Sameness - Nathan Rages

"... but You are the SAME and your years will not come to an end."  (Heb. 1:12b) and "Jesus Christ is the SAME yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8).

Rooted and Grounded in Love - Nathan Rages

"... that you, being rooted and grounded in love" Eph. 3:17b   A Christian's love for God and others is pictured like the roots of a tree or the foundation of a building.  These pictures reveal certain insights about love:

1. It gives us long-term stability.

2. It's hard to see (initially).

3. It takes time to form.

4. It's what everything else grows *from*.


1. Love is the foundation for relating to God.

2. Love is the foundation for our holiness.

3. Love is the foundation of marriage and parenting.

4. Love is the foundation of church life.

5. Love is the foundation of ministry work.

Midweek encouragement: Three Things You Can't Do Too Much - Nathan Rages

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  1Thess 5:16-18.

Christ Dwelling in Your Heart - Nathan Rages

Ephesians 3:17 begins "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith".  We'll approach these simple-sounding words by asking these two simple questions:

1 What does it mean for Christ to dwell in your heart?

2. How can this happen to you? 

A. Through prayer.

B. Through the Spirit's ministry.

C. Through your faith.

Midweek Encouragement: God Keeps ALL His Promises - Nathan Rages

Josh 21:45 "Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass."

Strengthened by the Spirit in the Inner Man - Nathan Rages

In Eph. 3:16, Paul prayed to God that the Ephesian Christians would be "strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man". This sermon breaks this down into three simple concepts:
1. Our NEED for strengthening. 2. The PLACE where strengthening is needed: "in the inner man". 3. The PERSON who does the strengthening: "through His Spirit".

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Worship and prayer meeting format

Due to the COVID-19 virus situation, our weekly meetings have been undergoing changes.  We still worship on Sundays at 10:00am and pray on Thursdays at 7:00pm -- but we cannot all be in the same building anymore.  

Since tiny religious groups of no more than 10 people are still permissible under government guidelines, some have been meeting that way.  Others have been using video conferencing software to meet "virtually" with each other on their computers.  Others have been meeting in their homes with family members.  We can be together in spirit (1Cor 5:4) though not in the same place physically. 

Please contact us for the most current information and how you can participate in the meetings.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Biblical Thinking in a Time of Crisis - Nathan Rages

Sermon describes the big elements of Biblical truth that should inform our thinking as we anticipate the approaching COVID-19 situation or any time of crisis.

Link to play or download audio:

3/15/2020 Meeting Place Change

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, our usual meeting place is not available on Sunday March 15.  We will meet instead for worship (but no fellowship meal) at 10:00am at a home at 900 Danforth Drive in Columbia, MO. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Heavenly Rewards Pt 2 - Nathan Rages

In the second part on our series on heavenly rewards, we spend the time considering various commonly-asked questions:
1. What's the nature of these rewards?
2. How can some Christians in heaven have more happiness or honor than others?
3. Will thoughts of future rewards lead to competitiveness, rivalry, or pride between Christians now?
4. Does the expectation of rewards undermine the Gospel of grace by causing a focus on our personal performance?
5. Does this cheapen our service to Christ by making us into "mercenaries" who're just serving Him for what we can get for ourselves in the end?
6. Does the future judgement of Christians involve a rehearsal of our sins?
7. Could this teaching be misused to give dangerous comfort to false Christians?
8. What do other Bible teachers think about these things?

Audio only:

Heavenly Rewards Pt 1 - Nathan Rages

In this Sunday message, we take a look at the concept that the Lord will reward each believer at the end of the world based on the good works we do in this life, and that those rewards will enhance our enjoyment of heaven forever.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Church as a Temple - Nathan Rages

In this sermon from Ephesians 2:20-22, we look at how the Church is pictured as a giant stone temple that's under construction.

Audio only:

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Jesus the Peacemaker - Nathan Rages

Ephesians 2:14-17 - "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near."

Audio only:

Remember Who You Were - Zach Perkins

In this sermon from Ephesians 2:11-12, we take a look at Paul's exhortations to the Gentiles to remember who they were and see how that applies to us.

Audio only:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

For by Grace You Have Been Saved Through Faith - Nathan Rages

Ephesians 2:8-10 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

Audio only:

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Seated Now With Christ in the Heavenly Places - Nathan Rages

Ephesians 2:4-7 - "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

Audio only:

Sunday, January 5, 2020

What to Do With Onesimus - John Dees

In this sermon, we look at how we should think of Onesimus, the fugitive slave of Philemon. In this small letter from Paul to Philemon, we can see pictures of how we were in our lost state and also a picture of what Christ does for us.

Audio only: