Monday, December 26, 2022

Four Reasons Why Christ Came into the World - Nathan Rages

Reason #1 TO TAKE AWAY SIN. 1John 3:5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

Reason #2 TO DESTROY THE DEVIL'S WORKS. John 3:8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

Reason #3 TO LIVE THROUGH HIM. 1John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Reason #4 TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. 1John 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Holy Spirit Given to Us (and 16 Ways that He Helps Believers) - Nath...

"The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us" (1John 3:24).  "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit" (1John 4:13).

In these two similar verses, the Apostle John teaches that the way we can be sure that we abide in God and His in us, is because He has given us the Holy Spirit.  

We believers can be confident that the Spirit indwells us when we observe Him ministering to us in the many ways (here is a list of 16) that the Bible describes Him helping the saints: 
1. Convicts us of our sins (John 16:8).
2. Gives us spiritual re-birth (John 3:8, Titus 3:5).
3. Casts out demons (Matt 12:28).
4. Reveals and glorifies Christ (John 15:26,16:14).
5. Assures us of our salvation (Rom 8:15-16, Eph 1:13).
6. Teaches us spiritual truth (John 14:26, 1John 2:27, 1Cor 2:10-12).
7. Sanctifies us (1Pet 1:2, Rom 8:13, Gal 5:22). 
8. Distributes and energizes spiritual gifts (1Cor 12).
9. Helps us pray (Rom 8:26-27, Eph 6:18).
10. Helps us worship (Phil 3:3, John 4:23).
11. Guides in our decisions (Rom 8:14, Acts 8:29,13:2,16:6-7).
12. Empowers our evangelism (Acts 1:8, 1Cor 2:4, 1Thess 1:5).
13. Provides the right words to speak (Mark 13:11).
14. Comforts us (Acts 9:31, Rom 5:5).
15. Strengthens our inner person (Eph 3:16).
16. Unites us with other believers (Eph 4:3-4).

APPLICATION: What should we do with this teaching about the Holy Spirit given to us?
1. Thank God for this precious gift.
2. Expand your assurance of salvation.
3. Raise your expectations for your Christian life.
4. Pursue yet more of the Spirit’s help.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Christ, the Consolation of Israel - Zach Perkins

Simeon and Anna are often-forgotten saints in the Christmas story.  This sermon follows the account of their encounter with newborn baby Jesus that's recorded in Luke 2:21-38. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Help For Your Condemning Heart - Nathan Rages

"We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight."  1John 3:19-22

1. The problem of a condemning heart.
2. Ways to address the problem:
   (a) Look for evidence that you truly love the brethren (v19). 
   (b) Remember that God knows everything about you (v20). 
3. Resulting benefits in your prayer life:
    (a) Confidence (v21).
    (b) Receiving the things you request (v22). 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Hated by the World - Nathan Rages

"...not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you."  1John 3:11-13

Three aspects of the world's hatred  toward believers:
1. The likelihood of this hatred: “do not be surprised.”
2. The cause of this hatred: righteousness.
3. The intensity of this hatred: murder.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Beloved Children of God - Nathan Rages

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is."  1John 3:1-2

This verses verses describe one of the most encouraging truths imaginable, that believers are God's beloved children.  Specifically we're taught five things about this wonderful relationship:

1. The start: being born of Him (v29).
2. The proof: righteous behavior (v29).
3. The motivation: God’s great love (v1).
4. The mystery: world not recognizing (v1).
5. The manifestation: future glorification (v2).

Monday, November 14, 2022

Anticipating Christ's Appearing - Nathan Rages

Christ's "Appearing" is one of the themes of 1John 2:28-3:3, which we explore with these four questions:

1. General question: What is it?
Acts 1:9-11, Matt. 24:30-31, 25:31-32, 1Thess. 4:16-18, 2Thess. 1:7-10

2. Sobering question: What will you feel when it occurs?
Confidence OR shrinking away in shame (v28).

3. Spectacular question: What will happen to believers at that time?
See Jesus just as He is ⇒ Become like Him (v2).

4. Searching question: What does this motivate you to do now?
Purifying yourself, just as He is pure (v3). 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Safeguards For Your Soul - Nathan Rages

As the Apostle John warned about the threat of false teaching in 1John 2:18-27, he also described four safeguards given by God for our spiritual protection:
1. Stay with the saints (v19).
2. Continue in Apostolic doctrine (v21,24).
3. Heed the Holy Spirit’s teaching (v20,27).
4. Keep the eternal perspective (v25).

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Does Inerrancy Matter? - Nathan Rages

Eight reasons why it's important to believe that the Bible is free from errors:

1. Because the Bible declares its own truthfulness (2Samuel 7:28, Psalm 12:6, Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 119:89,96,140, Proverbs 30:5, Luke 24:25, John 10:35, John 17:17, Acts 24:14, Romans 15:4).
2. Because what the Bible says, God says (Matthew 1:22, Matthew 19:4-5, Acts 1:16, John 1:1, 2Timothy 3:16, 2Peter 1:21).
3. Because God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Romans 3:4, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). 
4. Because even the Bible’s small details are important (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 5:17-18, Mark 12:26-27, Galatians 3:16).
5. Because the Bible’s history narratives are essential (1Timothy 2:12-14).
6. Because we must stay under the Bible’s authority (Genesis 3:5, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Isaiah 66:2).
7. Because a church needs a shared foundation (1Timothy 3:15, Amos 3:3).
8. Because unbelief is progressive and destructive (Hebrews 3:12-13, 2Corinthians 2:11) .

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Beware of Antichrists! - Nathan Rages

Seven characteristics of the Antichrists
1John 2:18-26, 4:1-3, 2John 1:7.

1. Their identity: the Antichrist vs. many antichrists.
2. Their time period: the last hour.
3. Their initial location: within the church.
4. Their teaching: denying Christ.
5. Their tactics: deception.
6. Their denunciation: liars and deniers.
7. Their departure: went out from us.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Loving the World - Nathan Rages

1John 2:15-17  15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1. The Command: Do not love the world (v15).

2. The Reasons:
   (a) Because it’s incompatible with the Father (v15).
   (b) Because it’s full of evil things: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life (v16).
   (c) Because it’s only temporary (v17).

3. Some Applications:
   (a) Count the cost of becoming a Christian.
   (b) Be careful with the earthly things you most enjoy.
   (c) Be careful who is influencing you. 
   (d) Look to Jesus’ perfect example.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Sunday October 9th Worship Meeting Location

Because most Redeeming Grace Church members will be participating in the Fall Fellowship Camp, October 6-9, the worship service on Sunday the 9th will be held at the chapel of the Turkey Hill Ranch Campground near Freeburg, MO at 10:00am, with lunch served afterwards.  Anyone is welcome to join the meeting at the Campground.  Our regular weekly schedule will resume, Lord willing, after the Camp.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Stages of Spiritual Maturity - Nathan Rages

In 1John 2:12-14, the Apostle addresses those who would read his letter, dividing them into three categories:  
1. Children
your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake (v12)
you know the Father (v13)
2. Young men
you have overcome the evil one (v13)
you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (v14)
3. Fathers
you know Him who has been from the beginning (v13)
you know Him who has been from the beginning (v14)

Lessons for us:
1. Christians are at different stages of spiritual maturity.   
2. Christians are expected to grow over time.
3. Christians need Gospel-centered reassurance.
4. Christians are described as victorious.
5. Christian victory results from applying God’s Word.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Christ's Warning and Promise to the Lukewarm - Richard Hamilton

Rev 3:14-22 14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” 

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?

Monday, August 1, 2022

Rescued from Darkness and Transferred into the Beloved Son's Kingdom - Z...

Colossians 1:13  "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son"

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Balanced Thinking About Our Remaining Sin - Nathan Rages

"My little children, 
I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"  1John 2:1

As Christians, we have no greater challenge than dealing with our own remaining sin.  In this one verse, the Apostle John provides balanced instruction on the matter.  His two statements provide "guardrails" to protect us from two "ditches" into which we may easily slide: (1) being too lenient about our sin or (2) despairing after we have sinned. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Walking in the Darkness or in the Light? - Nathan Rages

1John 1:6-10 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 

In these verses, the Apostle John contrasts those who "walk in the darkness" (unsaved people) with those who "walk in the light" (Christians).  Folks in the darkness love their sin, but often deny their sin problem.  Those walking in the light, on the other hand, have confessed their sins to God and received His complete forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of Jesus His Son.  God is faithful and righteous to bestow this wonderful salvation upon all who embrace this simple Gospel promise! 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

God is Light! - Nathan Rages

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."  (1John 1:5)

Light symbolizes:
1. God’s revelation of truth.
2. God’s moral purity.

This great truth, that “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all”...
1. Is the right starting point.
2. Is both refreshing and terrifying.
3. Gives confidence in God’s Word.
4. Gives comfort regarding God’s actions.
5. Is necessary to understand the Gospel.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Fall Fellowship Camp 2022 Registration is OPEN NOW

Registration for the Fall Fellowship Camp, October 6-9, 2022 is now OPEN.  See this page for all the details and registration form. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

How to Have Fullness of Joy - Nathan Rages

1John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 

One motivation for John writing his epistle was to increase believers' joy level.  Thus, his letter contains the secrets for experiencing fullness of joy.  In the course of the letter, John addresses various things that can *destroy* our joy (false conversion, false doctrine, practicing known sin, being loveless toward others, etc.) but the largest driver of consistent joy is found in the previous verse: "indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ".  Christian joy cannot be based on the ups and downs of daily happenings but on the foundation of God Himself, fellowshipping with the One who cannot change.  

Many similar Bible verses describe believers experiencing fullness or completeness of joy:
Ps 16:11 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. 
John 3:29 29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 
John 15:11 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 
John 16:24 24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. 
John 17:13 13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 
Rom 15:13 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
2John 1:12 12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full. 
1Pet 1:8 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 

These Scriptures make clear that God desires for Christians to have joy, not just in small fleeting amounts, but to be *filled* with joy as a normal, expected part of Christian experience.  

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Fellowship in Three Directions - Nathan Rages

The keyword of 1John 1:3-7 is "fellowship", and John says every Christian has fellowship with three parties:
1. With the Apostles.  v3 "so that you too may have fellowship with us"
2. With the Triune God.  v3 "indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" and v6 "we have fellowship with Him"
3. With other believers. v7 "we have fellowship with one another"

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Certainty About the Gospel - Nathan Rages

In this introductory message to an anticipated preaching series from the first epistle of John, we focus on the first three verses.  The Apostle John begins his letter by encouraging confident certainty about the Gospel message concerning Jesus Christ by emphasizing these five things about it:     
1. Originated in eternity - v1,2.
2. Manifested in time - v2.
3. Observed by witnesses - v1.
4. Proclaimed to many - v2,3.
5. Gives life to believers - v1,2.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Wearing Your Humble Clothes - Nathan Rages

1Peter 5:5 says, "...all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another..."  This sermon explores how we do that, how we put on our humble clothes and the situations in which we most need to wear them: 

General exhortations to humility within the church body: 1Peter 3:8-9, Colossians 3:12-13, Philippians 2:3, and Ephesians 4:2-3.

Five particularly challenging areas, where humble clothes are vital:
1. Authority relationships - 1Peter 5:3,5.
2.  Christian service - John 13:14-15, Mark 9:35.
3.  Ministry success - 1Sam. 18:7, Proverbs 27:21, Genesis 41:16, Daniel 2:30, Acts 3:12,14:14-15, 1Corinthians 3:7. 
4. Devotional practices - Matthew 6:1-6,16-18.
5.  Spiritual knowledge - Romans 12:16, 1Corinthians 8:1-2, 13:9-12.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Humbling Yourself Under God's Mighty Hand - Nathan Rages

1Peter 5:6 exhorts us to "humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God".  Here are six areas in which we must do so:
1. Salvation - Luke 18:13-14, Matthew 18:1-4, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1Timothy 1:15.
2. Election - Romans 9:20-21, 11:18-25, 1Corinthians 1:26-29.
3. Providence - Amos 3:6, Job 1:20-21, Psalm 18:30, Isaiah 45:9, James 4:13-16.
4. Scripture - Isaiah 66:2, Philippians 2:12-13.
5. Prayer - Revelation 3:17, 2Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 10:17, Matthew 15:21-28.  
6. Worship - Psalm 95:6, 8:3-4, Isaiah 6:1-5, Job 40:4, 42:4-6, Psalm 115:1.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Great Humility Divide - Nathan Rages

1Peter 5:5 describes a great divide between the way God relates to people who are proud vs. those who are humble: "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble."  This message explores this simple reality. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Resting - Nathan Rages

This is a simple message is about resting, specifically about these three kinds of rest that are described in Scripture:
1. Physical rest.
2. Salvation rest.
3. Heavenly rest.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Schedule Changes for Church Retreat

Because of a church retreat, we will not have our usual services at our building on Thursday, May 19 and Sunday, May 22.  Our normal meeting schedule resumes thereafter. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Source of Christ's Ministry Power - Nathan Rages

This message explores one question: "Who was the source of the divine power displayed throughout Christ’s earthly ministry?"  

Although we might assume that His power came from the God the Father or by Christ drawing upon His own divine nature, the Bible actually teaches that Christ ministered *as a man* by the power of the *Holy Spirit*.  

These passages teach this truth: Isaiah 11:1-2, Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:16-21, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-33, John 3:34, Luke 4:1, Luke 4:14, Matthew 12:22-32, Acts 10:38, and Philippians 2:6-8.

Here are three reasons why this teaching is important:
1. It shows that our theology must be derived from Scripture alone.
2. It affects how we think about Christ.
3. It affects how we think about ourselves.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Are You Motivated by a Love Relationship with Jesus? - Nathan Rages

A personal relationship of loving trust in the Lord Jesus lies at the heart of Christian experience.  This sermon explores both the positive and negative sides of this reality.

Bible examples of those doing unusually difficult, extreme things because of the motivation of love:   
1. David's Mighty Men (2Sam. 23:13-17).
2. Mary's lavish outpouring (Mark 14:3-9).
3. Paul's whole ministry (2Cor 5:14).

Problems often caused by a defective trust in or love for Christ:
1. Unsuccessfully trying to get saved.
2. Lack of assurance. 
3. Intellectual unbelief.
4. Critical spirit.
5. Bitterness about trials.
6. Boredom in devotional activities.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Nehemiah's Big Ministry Lessons for our Church - Nathan Rages

In this capstone message for our 12-part preaching series through the first six chapters of Nehemiah, we summarize the six biggest lessons and how to apply them to our church -- particularly as we embrace future ministry opportunities:
1. Burdened leadership.
2. Personal sacrifice.
3. Unified workers.
4. Relentless opposition.
5. Constant prayer.
6. Ultimate joy.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Celebrating God's Accomplishments - Nathan Rages

In Neh. 6:15-16 and 12:27-43 we have the joyous conclusion to the Jerusalem wall-building project.  Those events can be summarized with these four concepts:
1. The SPEED of project completion.  (6:15)
2. The HUMILIATION of the enemies.  (6:16)
3. The PURITY of the worshippers.  (12:30)
4. The REJOICING in the Lord.  (12:27-43)

Sunday, April 10, 2022

7 Ways to Destroy a Good Leader - Nathan Rages

In Nehemiah 6:1-14, the enemies of God turn their attention completely on Nehemiah himself, attempting to destroy this good leader using the following seven tactics -- tactics which the Devil still uses against believers today:
1. Isolation (v2)
2. Distraction (v3)
3. Repetition (of temptations) (v4)
4. Slander (v5-8)
5. Fear (v9,13,14)
6. Bad advice (v10-14)
7. Irreverence (v10,13)

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Restoring Unity Among Believers - Nathan Rages

Nehemiah chapter 5 describes the greatest threat to the Jerusalem wall-building project: disunity among the Jewish people.  Through Nehemiah's wise leadership, God quickly and amazingly restored their unity.

1. The *problem* of disunity.
2. Nehemiah’s *response* to the disunity:
(a) His emotion
(b) His courage
(c) His persuasion
(d) His repentance
(e) His integrity

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Devote Yourselves to Prayer - Jon Beary

Col 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving"

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Help for Weary and Vulnerable Saints - Nathan Rages

In 4:7-23, Nehemiah confronts his toughest crisis yet when the Jews' enemies conspire to attack and kill the wall-builders, who have become weary and discouraged.  By God's grace, Nehemiah crafts a 5-part solution to overcome the challenges, all of which can be applied to ourselves.  

The Problem: Threatened attacks and extreme exhaustion.
The Solution:
1. Prayer
2. Watchfulness
3. Encouragement
4. Balance
5. Assistance

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Resisting Ridicule - Nathan Rages

As Nehemiah oversaw the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall, he had to overcome various hindrances, the first of which was ridicule (Neh. 2:19-20, 4:1-6).

The Problem of Ridicule: 
a. Toward the wall-builders
b. Toward the Lord Jesus
c. Toward us today 
Ways to Respond Righteously to Ridicule:
a. Declaring absolute confidence in God.
b. Praying for vindication.
c. Persevering in the work.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Lessons (About Serving Christ) from a Lengthy List of Long ago Laborers ...

Nehemiah chapter 3 is just a long listing of the people responsible for working on different sections of the Jerusalem wall.  Yet even this unusual passage contains many helpful lessons for believers as we serve the Lord today: 
1. Your service is holy.  
2. Your fellow-servers are diverse.
3. You usually serve best near home.
4. You need personal accountability. 
5. Your zeal is inspiring to others. 
6. Your service is remembered forever.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

How Christians Comfort Each Other - Nathan Rages

In 2Corinthians 1:3-7, the Apostle describes how Christians give comfort to each other, teaching these three main truths:
1. God Himself is our Comforter.
2. Those who’ve received God’s comfort can then give it to others.
3. This God-centered comfort will be effective.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Motivating God's People to Do God's Work - Nathan Rages

In Nehemiah 2:16-18, this remarkable leader met with the influential men of Jerusalem to convince them to join him in the massive wall-building project.  In that meeting Nehemiah did four things which contributed greatly to his success -- things *we* can imitate to more effectively influence others toward righteous labor:  
1. He exposed the problem.
2. He identified himself with others. 
3. He pointed everyone to God. 
4. He called for specific, united action.

Redeeming Grace Church is a Gospel-centered fellowship in Columbia, Missouri, proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ and following Him together as a community of believers. Our emphases are sound Bible teaching, joyful worship, hearty fellowship, and ongoing evangelism.  Church website:  Church email:

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Diagnosis, Discretion, and Doing - Nathan Rages

Curiously, when Nehemiah arrived at Jerusalem he secretly inspected the city walls during the night.  His description of the inspection process (2:11-16) illustrates several major practical principles for us:
1. Diagnosis - getting a clear, firsthand understanding of the problem.
2. Discretion - being careful with communication and trust.
3. Doing - being ready to take action without being bogged-down by analysis.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Celebrating a Special Collection - Nathan Rages

1Chron. 29:1-22 describes a special collection King David initiated for the construction of the Temple.  The successful collection was then followed by a worshipful celebration.  Throughout the passage, these four main things were happening: 
1. God was exalted (v1,10-13,16,18,20-22).
2. People were humbled (v14-16).
3. Hearts were revealed (v3,6,9,17-19).
4. Joy was expressed (v9,17,22).

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Seizing a New Ministry Opportunity - Nathan Rages

In Nehemiah's conversation with the King Artaxerxes in Neh. 2:1-8, he entered a major new sphere of service to God's people by doing these seven things: 
1. Excelling in his current position. 
2. Patiently waiting for God to open the door.
3. Admitting his fear of taking personal risk.
4. Submitting to God-ordained authority. 
5. Eagerly volunteering himself.
6. Developing definite plans. 
7. Seeing God work through him.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Praying Powerfully by Praying Biblically - Nathan Rages

Nehemiah's powerful prayer (Neh. 1:5-11), which God wonderfully answered throughout the rest of the book, is recorded for us to learn from and imitate in our own prayer lives.  The prayer was:
1. God-centered.
2. Repentant.
3. Promise-pleading.
4. History-remembering.
5. Persistent.
6. Practical.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

A Heart Burdened for God's Cause - Nathan Rages

In Nehemiah 1:1-4 we see the burdened heart of this godly man and we consider these 5 aspects of his burden, making application to ourselves: 1. His burden was concerned with God’s glory. 2. His burden caused deep mourning. 3. His burden persisted despite his personal comforts. 4. His burden led to concentrated prayer and fasting. 5. His burden focused and guided his future work.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Why We Baptize - Nathan Rages

Four reasons why we practice water baptism:
1. It’s commanded by the Lord Jesus.
2. It’s practiced in the New Testament.
3. It’s a public commitment to follow Christ for a lifetime.
4. It’s a symbol of our spiritual salvation.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Reasons for Optimism this New Year - Nathan Rages

1. God does not change (Mal. 3:6, Jam. 1:17, Heb. 13:8, Ps. 100:5).  
2. God provides all needed resources (2Pet. 1:3, Eph. 1:3). 
3. God has a good plan for your life (Rom. 8:28, 5:3-5, Eph. 2:10).
4. God’s grace covers your failings (Jam. 3:2, Rom. 8:1, 1Jn. 1:9).
5. The Enemy is defeatable (Rev. 12:11, 2Cor. 10:3-4, Matt. 16:18).
6. Growth is always possible (2Cor. 3:18, Phil. 3:12-14, Ps. 92:14).