Over the past 60 years, we have seen a radical shift in American culture. Now, more than ever, the Church needs to have the spiritual discernment of the men of Issachar, “who knew the times and understood what Israel should do.” (1 Chronicles 12:32) This sermon, we will find that the challenges we face in our present cultural moment is not a new moment at all. It may feel new to us, but what we are facing God’s people have faced, and far worse, for millennia.The prophet Daniel, who was exiled to Babylon, provides an excellent example for how to remain faithful to God and at the same time remain redemptive in one’s impact on a society that is far from God. Daniel demonstrates how we can be like Jesus, people of both grace and truth, as he both blessed and resisted Babylonian culture. Please join us in this second of two messages that prepare us for an extended study of 1 Peter, who opens his epistle addressing Christ-followers as exiles and resident aliens in this world.
Home Away From Home
Intro To 1 Peter Pt. 2
October 18, 2020 • Pastor Ben Cross
Life In Exile • November 22, 2020 • Pastor Ben Cross
A few years ago, U.S. News and World Report published an article titled with an intriguing question: "Why are people religious?" Their conclusion? "People need superhuman instruments to cope with human tragedy such as cancer, earthquakes, auto accidents and terrorism." Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychiatry, surmised that people invent religion, or God, out of a fear of nature. This may be true for religion in general, but it’s absurd to say such a thing about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is a quality about our God that no person in his or right mind, in an attempt to escape fear, would ever invent him. That one quality of God makes Freud’s theory and the conclusion of that magazine article crumble into dust. This sermon, we will look at this all-important dimension of God’s glory and how it shapes every aspect of our lives as his children. Read 1 Peter 1:13-21. to prepare.
Life In Exile • November 15, 2020 • Pastor Ben Cross
Hopelessness has a deadly effect on the human soul. Without some kind of future goal, we wither and die. This is what makes the Gospel of Christ the best news imaginable. Our hope in Christ is not based on wishful thinking or naïve optimism. Gospel hope is anchored in the historical reality of Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead. It is the confident assurance, expectation, and conviction of God’s ultimate triumph through his Son and our Savior. This is what 1 Peter is all about—restoring hope to discouraged Christians. In our passage this sermon, Peter teaches us what is required to live each day in light of our hope—our eternal reward and deliverance from exile. To prepare, please meditate on 1 Peter 1:13-21
Gripped By Gospel Grace
November 8, 2020 • Pastor Ben Cross
This Fall, we are in 1 Peter. We are learning that the order of our salvation, from eternity past to eternity future, is the reason we can know joy beyond human expression in even the hardest of times. The Father’s sovereign plan and care for us supersedes anything we may encounter in life. When we suffer in this world, our heavenly Father uses it to refine our faith and prepare us for glory in the world to come. In following the pattern of our Master, the cross precedes the crown. This message, we will see how our confidence in the order of our salvation, so critical to handling hardships with joy, is inseparably connected to our confidence in the written word of God. The Bible reveals the order of our salvation. If the Bible is not trustworthy, then neither is our salvation. Come and learn why we can have full confidence in the divine inspiration of Scripture, that it is not the clever invention of man, but God-breathed truth revealed in human language. Please read 1 Peter 1:10-12 for this sermon