Stand Alone Sermons
May 30, 2021 • Whit Lewis, Senior Pastor
"An enemy of faith is forgetfulness." Why is it important to remember? Because a failure to remember results in an erosion of faith. Biblical remembering reminds us that the same God who acted back then is the same God who acts now. Remembering is not designed to transport you back into the past but to prepare and equip and encourage you for the future! Scripture Text: Joshua 4:1-9 As Joshua led the children of Israel up to the banks of the Jordan river he commanded the people to keep their eyes fixed on the ark of the covenant, the place of God’s presence and power. In obedience to God, the priests stepped into the flood waters of the Jordan, it parted, much as did the Red Sea some 40 years earlier, allowing the people of Israel to enter the promised land on dry ground. After they crossed on dry ground they placed 12 stones of remembrance as memorial to what God had done for them. The purposes of these stones? 1. Public – vv. 23-24These stones stood as a testimony “so that all the peoples of the earth” might know that “the hand of the Lord is mighty” and so that Israel would continue to “fear the Lord your God forever.” 2. Personal – It was designed to serve as a reminder to their children and grandchildren of the power and faithfulness and goodness of God in fulfilling his promise to his people. Vv. 6-7, 20-22 It is important to remember the past because those who forget the past fall into thanklessness. An enemy of faith is forgetfulness. Today we observe the Lord's Supper as a memorial. It does not falsely glorify the past. When we partake of the bread and cup we remember the broken body and blood of the Lord. Images of deceit, betrayal and cruelty impose themselves upon us. The memorial feast confronts us with the fact that we humans are all too capable of striking out against true holiness and supreme goodness and treating it as demonic if it does not work out to our advantage. That is not the kind of memory we hold dear. The Lord’s Supper does more. It reminds us of the sacrificial love of God. It speaks to us of a love that will not let us go but which reaches out to us, despite our evil. The Lord’s Supper points us not only to the past but toward the promised future as well. The Purpose of the Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) – Remember the Presence of the Lord The Lord’s Supper is not just about imagining something in our minds. It’s about remembering a real time in real history. It’s not about dreaming—it’s about deliberately directing our thoughts back 2,000 years to a body given and blood shed on a cross. It’s about remembering the past with such vividness that it affects us in the present. In the Lord’s Supper, we’re directing our minds toward the cross. – Remember the Provision of the Lord When we reflect on our sin, we also reflect on God's forgiveness. If you start thinking about what you’ve done this last week and where you’ve fallen short, at the Lord’s Supper Jesus reminds you, “I have covered it.” When you think about all your struggles with sin, in the Lord’s Supper Jesus reminds you, “I love you. I forgive you. As far as the east is from the west, I remove those sins. I remember them no more.” This is where this meal just comes alive, as we feast on Jesus’ forgiveness of us and His faithfulness to us. – Remember the Passion of the Lord The Lord’s Supper is a proclamation of Christ’s death until He comes. So first, there is a proclamation element in the Lord’s Supper. We’re not just eating and drinking, we’re proclaiming. That’s what mission is all about. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we are proclaiming that Jesus has died on the cross, He’s risen from the grave, and we’re have our freedom from His sacrifice. – Remember the Purpose of the Lord In the Lord’s Supper, we’re not just looking back. We are also looking forward. Suffering brothers and sisters, amidst the hurts in your life, amidst your struggles with sin right now, amidst the sorrow and the pain you are walking through, amidst the challenges of this world, the Lord’s Supper is a reminder to you that one day all those hurts and struggles, all that sorrow and all that pain will be no more. Jesus is coming back. Every time we take the Lord’s Supper, we remember the challenges of this world will one day come to an end. That is reason to rejoice!
An Identity That Leads to Action
May 23, 2021 • Vlad Baraniuk, Missions & Young Adults Pastor
An Identity That Leads to Action 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 My identity in Christ leads me to be an ambassador for Christ. 1. We go because the fear of God compels us (Vv. 11-15) - God's love is big enough for all people - God's love is strong enough for you 2. We go because the grace of God transforms us (Vv. 16-17, 21) - In Christ, God has transformed me inwardly - In Christ, God has reconciled me to Himself - In Christ, God has unified me with others 3. We go because the purpose of God captivates us (Vv. 18-20) - We persuade others with the Gospel - We plead with others with the Gospel Where is God calling me to go? - Into my church? - Into my city? - Across cultures?