Sunday, September 26, 2021

Jesus' Costly Expectations for His Followers - Nathan Rages

The Lord Jesus called His followers to "count the cost" of committing their lives to Him, including these five remarkably difficult areas:
1. Dying to yourself.  “hate … even his own life … carry his own cross and come after Me” (Luke 14:26-27)
2. Hating your family.  “does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters” (Luke 14:26)
3. Giving-up your possessions.  “give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33) 
4. Enduring persecution.  “Blessed are you when men hate you and ostracize you and insult you...” (Luke 6:22) 
5. Loving God and people completely.  “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart .… love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:28ff)

Four thoughts of application from this study:
1. The Christian life must be *supernatural*. 
2. Rejoice that salvation is by *grace* alone.
3. There’s no room for *self-pity*.
4. It’s still *worth it* to follow Christ!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Jesus' Six Surprising Salvation Sayings - Nathan Rages

Jesus taught some unexpected, even counter-intuitive, truths about our salvation.  This message explores six of these surprising sayings:
1. Salvation is through Christ exclusively: “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
2. Salvation is only for bad people: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
3. Salvation is only for child-like people: “unless you are converted and become like children you will not enter” (Matt. 18:2-4).
4. Salvation is only for born again people: “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom” (John 3:3-8).
5. Salvation includes Christ’s forgiveness: “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:5-12).
6. Salvation involves eating Christ: “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life” (John 6:51-57).

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Jesus' Amazing Claims About Himself - Nathan Rages

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke often about Himself during His earthly ministry.  This message surveys some of His most spectacular claims: 
1. He existed eternally (John 8:56-59). 
2. He’s the unique revealer of the Father (Matt. 11:27).
3. He’s the long-prophesied Messiah (John 4:25-26).
4. He’s greater than the Temple and Sabbath (Matt. 12:5-8).
5. He’s greater than King Solomon (Matt. 12:42).
6. He’s sinless (John 8:29).
7. He controlled His death and resurrection (John 10:17-18).
8. He’ll resurrect all dead people (John 5:28-29).
9. He’s God (John 10:30-33,14:9).

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Building Your Life on Jesus' (Radical) Words - Nathan Rages

In the parable of the two house builders in Matthew 7:24-29, Jesus taught that the difference between building successfully on the rock vs. disastrously on the sand lay in how one responded to His teaching. To be like the wise man means HEARING and DOING Jesus' words -- building your life on Christ by embracing all His teaching. But Jesus' words (about Himself, His salvation, His requirements for discipleship, and His promises for followers) were extreme, controversial, and polarizing. They still are today. So we're tempted to ignore or water-down His difficult sayings, but we must vigorously resist that tendency. Instead we can imitate Peter, who after hearing Jesus' challenging and unpopular teaching declared, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life!" (John 6:60-69)