Resources

Sermons, Articles and News from Redemption Hill Church in Lawrence, KS

The Inferiority of False Teaching

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 28, 2019 | Text: Colossians 2:16-23

Sermon Summary

False teaching prompted Paul to write to the Colossians, and unfortunately it is still alive and well today. False teaching distorts, subtracts from, or adds to the gospel. It takes something good and warps it just enough to make it evil. Sometimes it comes in the form of legalism, requiring not just faith in Christ but obedience to specific standards in order to be right with God. Sometimes it comes through mysticism, that there are other means to communicate and hear from God outside of what he has provided in Scripture. And sometimes it looks like asceticism, teaching that we can get to God through our own efforts. But these forms of false teaching are dangerous, because they take away from the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ. Trust in him alone!

As He Said, Come And See

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 21, 2019 | Text: Matthew 28:1-10

Sermon Summary

When we reflect on the resurrection, we are confronted with God's faithfulness. All throughout history he has been revealing that his plan of salvation will involve the death and resurrection of his Son. The events we remember at Easter proclaim that God is faithful to keep his promises. This means that he is trustworthy and deserving of our faith. Is your faith in Jesus Christ?

All Sufficient Savior

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 7, 2019 | Text: Colossians 2:11-15

Sermon Summary

Christ is completely sufficient - meaning he is enough. He is enough to change our heart, to forgive our sins, and to defeat our enemies. His sufficiency is paired with his supremacy - meaning he is over all. Christ's sufficiency and supremacy gives joy, purpose, and foundation to the believer's life. Christ is enough!

Complete in Christ

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: March 24, 2019 | Text: Colossians 2:6-9

Sermon Summary

Many things vie for our attention in life. We are bombarded with various philosophies, worldviews, pleasures, and experiences. They all want to dominate our attention and time. But the truth of the gospel is that Christ is all and is in all. Spiritual life is found only and always in Christ.

A Model of Gospel Ministry

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: March 10, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:24-29

Sermon Summary

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that only pastors are called to gospel ministry. But Colossians 1:24-29 makes it clear that God calls every Christian to live for him. This involves suffering for Christ, proclaiming Christ, laboring for Christ, and laboring for Christ. God will accomplish his purposes in the world, but he will accomplish them through his people. Let us join with Paul in striving with all our energy to follow Christ in gospel ministry.

Reconciled to God

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 24, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:21-23

Sermon Summary

The message of the gospel is that all people have sinned and fallen short of God's standard. Sin alienates people from God, and leads them to hostility and evil deeds. But Jesus' death on the cross provides a way to make peace. Jesus provides reconciliation. This peace is available to all who turn to Christ in faith and repentance. Receiving the gospel is not a momentary decision with no ramifications. Believers must persist in their belief and repentance, trusting in God throughout their life. And God is faithful to bring all true believers to the end and present them holy and blameless before him.

The Preeminence of Christ Pt 1

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 10, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:15-20

Sermon Summary

Colossians 1:15-20 contains the main point of the entire book: the preeminence of Christ. Jesus is in all and over all. All things have come into being through him and all things are subject to him. Amidst a world that denies Christ's supremacy, and emotions that reject his preeminence, we must meditate on Christ's rightful place - above all else.

Gratitude to a Gracious Father

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 3, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:12-14

Sermon Summary

Colossians 1:12-14 describes what God has done for believers in salvation. God has qualified sinners to share in his inheritance as adopted sons and daughters. He has transferred us from the dark kingdom of Satan and sin and given us citizenship in the kingdom of God. All this was made possible when Jesus shed his blood for us on the cross to provide redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The greatness of God's grace leads to gratitude. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Paul's Prayer for the Church

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: January 20, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:9-12

Sermon Summary

After God saves someone, he leads them on the path of sanctification, growth in holiness. Sanctification involves understanding and following the will of God, not his secret, undisclosed plan for every detail of life, but his revealed will of what pleases him. Knowing what God loves spurs believers on to love the same things, bear spiritual fruit, and endure to the end.

Rejoicing in the Gospel

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: January 13, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:3-8

Sermon Summary

Paul begins his letter to the Colossians by focusing on the gospel The gospel displays God's grace and power in our lives. It alone can produce faith and love in the lives of sinners. God, who alone deserves credit for salvation, is glorified in the gospel, and uses faithful men and women to spread and live out the gospel to further his glory. Members of the body of Christ have the joy and responsibility to embrace the sufficiency and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Intro to Colossians

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: January 6, 2019 | Text: Colossians 1:1-2

Sermon Summary

The book of Colossians centers on the supremacy of Christ. The church in Colossae was facing opposition to the gospel. Some people were distorting the gospel by adding to it, while others were distorting the gospel by subtracting from it. In our own day and age, we face the same type of opposition from people trying to distort the gospel. In light of this, we must remember that Jesus is supreme over all. Only through Jesus can we receive grace, peace, and holiness.

*Due to microphone issues, this week's sermon audio is poor in quality. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Living By the Book: God's Will for Seasoned Saints

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: December 30, 2018 | Text: Titus 2:1-6

Sermon Summary

Some are very excited about old age because of the promise of retirement. Others see themselves becoming less useful in the world around them. God has plans and promises for senior saints. He instructs them to pass on their wisdom to those younger than themselves in the church, and to not waste the later years of their lives.

Christmas As War

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: December 23, 2018 | Text: Matthew 2:13-23

Sermon Summary

In Matthew 2:13-23, three events following Jesus' birth are said to fulfill three Old Testament passages. Jesus, the long promised Messiah, is the seed of the woman who conquers the serpent, Satan. However, this victory comes through pain, suffering, and death. Jesus took our place, bore the wrath we deserved, and humbled himself for our sake. At Christmas, remember the loving sacrifice of Jesus.

Living By the Book: God's Will for Husbands

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: October 28, 2018 | Text: Ephesians 5:25-33

Sermon Summary

In Ephesians 5, Paul charges husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Husbands are called to love their wives with the goal of presenting them holy to Christ in the last day. It would be impossible for husbands to act like Christ in their own strength alone. Rather than trying harder, husbands need to look to Christ for the strength to follow in his footsteps and place the needs of their wives above their own needs.

Living By the Book: God's Will for Wives

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: October 21, 2018 | Text: Ephesians 5:22-24

Sermon Summary

Submission is one of the dirtiest words in contemporary culture. With the recent focus on women's rights and the coming to light of many cases of abuse, many call for the elimination of God's design for leadership and submission in marriage. But even if the attitude of our culture may change, God's Word does not. In Ephesians, Paul identifies that Jesus Christ is the head of all things, especially the church. And just like the church submits to Jesus as her head, so also wives should submit to husbands as their God-given head. This call to submission is an act of faith in Jesus and is glorifying to God.

Living By the Book: God's Design for Femininity

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: October 7, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Feminism has thrust femininity into the spotlight in American culture over the last several decades. The movement brings into question what it means to be a woman, how women should be treated, and what are the differences and similarities between men and women. The Bible provides the true answers to these questions. Though our culture or our inner desires may push against it, God's design remains best.

Living By the Book: God's Design for Masculinity

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: September 30, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Today's masculinity is fraught with images of machismo, abuse, ineptitude, and passivity. But these are a result of the fall, not of true manhood. God calls men not to follow Adam, but Jesus, who is the second Adam and the perfect man. True masculinity is seen in servant hearted love and leadership.

Living By the Book: God's Pattern for Marriage

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: September 16, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

God designed and instituted marriage to bless his people and glorify his name. Often, however, due to our own desires or the influence of our culture, we minimize or misuse what God has given us. Marriage is a gift from God, and it is easy to idolize it rather than enjoying it as such. There are high callings in marriage to serve, love, and help a spouse or children, and it is easy to try to avoid these duties and rather look to our own interests. But if we look to Scripture and see the beauty of the gospel that marriage points to, we will instead orient our worldview around God's revealed truth.

But God Meant it for Good

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: September 2, 2018 | Text: Genesis 50

Sermon Summary

As the book of Genesis comes to a close, Joseph's interaction with his brothers shows his view of God's sovereignty. He has total confidence in God's goodness and his control over all things in life, even the sin of his brothers. While they meant to harm him, God was actually orchestrating events for his own good purposes. Taking this view of God gives us confidence to face the trials in our lives, knowing that God is in control and is using it for our good. And like Joseph, believing that God is sovereign means we can forgive those who wrong us and not harbor resentment. 

Living By the Book

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: September 9, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Everyone bases their life on something. Some find their authority in themselves, making decisions that serve their own desires. Some live with the world as their authority, influenced by the popular opinions of the day. But Christians must base their lives on the Word of God. Christians should live by the book in order to glorify God, to make disciples, and to grow in joy.

Blessing Through the Coming King

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: August 19, 2018 | Text: Genesis 49

Sermon Summary

As Jacob blesses his sons in Genesis 49, he draws special attention to the nature of those who receive blessing by highlighting Judah and Joseph. Judah's repentance and Joseph's faithful endurance were pathways for God's blessing to them. This blessing ultimately comes through Judah's greater descent, Jesus, the King of Kings who will reign in eternal, universal, peaceful dominion. Today we can partake in the blessing offered in Jesus by placing our faith in him and repenting of our sins.

Fully Formed Faith

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: August 12, 2018 | Text: Genesis 48

Sermon Summary

At the end of his life, Jacob blesses Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh. The story of Jacob's blessing in Genesis 48 shows his mature faith. Mature faith finds confidence in the Word of God, God's kindness and grace, the unique way God works, and the certainty of God's promises before death. Just like Jacob found confidence in God's Word, we can have this confidence today. God's kind grace was evident in Jacob's life and is evident in ours as well. God continues to work in unexpected ways. And because Jesus has raised from the dead, we find our ultimate confidence in our eternal future after death.

The Triumph of Grace

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: July 22, 2018 | Text: Genesis 43-45:15

Sermon Summary

Genesis 43-45:15 tells the story of Joseph's brothers returning to Egypt and traces God's gracious work of repentance in their lives to completion. We see that repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of heart resulting in a change of will.

The Grace of a Guilty Conscience

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: July 15, 2018 | Text: Genesis 42

Sermon Summary

In Genesis 42 we see God activating the guilty conscience of Joseph's brothers. They are violent and sinful men who need to change. But in His gracious providence God is at work not only to preserve His people, but also to purify them.In observing their experience we learn something about the value of guilt, fear, and godly sorrow that leads to repentance. 

From the Prison to the Palace

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: July 8, 2018 | Text: Genesis 40-41

Sermon Summary

The story of Joseph, with all its near misses, tragic injustices, surprising coincidences, and unlikely plot twists, it shows us that we serve a God who works all things together for good. Both the depth of the prison and the glory of the palace are God's doing. Though falsely accused and forgotten, Joseph's surprising rise to prominence in Pharaoh's administration reveals God's faithfulness and wise providence. 

Joseph in Potiphar's House

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: July 1, 2018 | Text: Genesis 39

Sermon Summary

Genesis 39 tells us about Joseph's experience as a slave in the house of Potipahar; his rise to prominence there, and his fall from grace as he is falsely accused of assault and sent to prison. In this story we see two important principles emerge, 1) the theological principle of God's presence and providence in adversity and 2) the practical principle of integrity rooted in the fear of God. 

Surprising Grace

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: June 24, 2018 | Text: Genesis 38

Sermon Summary

Why do shocking stories like the tale of Judah and Tamar belong in our bible? In these stories we are forced to look straight at our own reflection - we see the ugliness of sin and the reality of the curse. But that is not all we see; it is against the dark background of such depravity that we are able to see the triumph of God's grace.

Violation and Vengeance

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: June 3, 2018 | Text: Genesis 34

Sermon Summary

When Dinah is violated by Shechem, Jacob is passive but his sons respond with anger and brutality. The shocking ugliness of this dark stain on Israel's history reminds us that only by God's grace will the plan for redemption move forward, and only by faith can we respond rightly to the evils we face.

Jacob vs God

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: May 13, 2018 | Text: Genesis 30:25-31:55

Sermon Summary

Trusting in God leads to transformation by God. Though Jacob had lived a life of self-reliance and manipulated others by his cunning and strength, his encounter with God leaves him forever changed. He emerges crippled and weak, but clinging to the blessing of God and bearing a new name - Israel.

Jacob vs Laban

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: May 13, 2018 | Text: Genesis 30:25-31:55

Sermon Summary

In the struggle between Jacob and Laban we see familiar patterns of faith and fear, obedience and compromise. But through it all we also see more proof that God is in control and always keeps his promises, protecting and providing for His chosen people, and moving his plan of redemption forward through imperfect people, all by His gracious power.

Rachel vs Leah

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: May 6, 2018 | Text: Genesis 29:31-30:24

Sermon Summary

This birth narrative recounts how the sons of Jacob were born, and each announcement of a name is accompanied by a comment and an explanation of the meaning of that name. Each name expresses the hopes, desires, assumptions of Rachel and Leah. As we work our way through we get a lot of insight into the hearts of these two women and their painful circumstances. It's against this dark background of pain and hurt and envy and longing that we see the grace of God shine brightly.

The Deceiver is Deceived

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 29, 2018 | Text: Genesis 29

Sermon Summary

Jacob has deceived his father and deprived his brother, but when he meets Laban the tables are turned and he becomes the victim of deception. Though he reaps the bitter fruit of the sin he has sown, still God's gracious promise continues and the broken pieces of Jacob's life are used to further God's covenant plans.

A Call to Missions

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: April 22, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Jesus tells us that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). We must pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers. And as we pray in faith, we ought to expect God to answer this prayer! Jesus indicates that we are called to be the means by which God extends the mercy and grace of the gospel to those in darkness; both in our prayers, and in surrendering ourselves to be used by God in taking the gospel to the nations. Listen as pastor JD presents the biblical priority of missions and presents an exciting opportunity for Redemption Hill Church to invest in the future. 

Meeting God at Bethel

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: March 25, 2018 | Text: Genesis 28

Sermon Summary

The story of Jacob at Bethel is a beautiful account of God's grace to an undeserving sinner. When Jacob lies down to rest in a "certain" place, he unexpectedly experiences a life-changing meeting with God. That God graciously pursues and provides for sinners like us ought to produce a response of fear, worship, and personal commitment.

Faithful, Sovereign, Unmerited Grace

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: February 18, 2018 | Text: Genesis 25

Sermon Summary

Genesis 25 brings the life of Abraham to a close and sets the stage for the next major section of Genesis - the story of Isaac and his family. The names change, the generations come and go, but one thing remains constant; the God of promise, the God who speaks and acts for His glory and the good of His people. What emerges throughout salvation history is the faithful, sovereign, unmerited grace of God.

Faith and the Providence of God

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: February 11, 2018 | Text: Genesis 24

Sermon Summary

Genesis 24 reveals the remarkable providence of God in providing a wife for Isaac. The doctrine of providence ought to humble us - we are not the masters of our destiny. It ought to comfort us - we are not victims of fate. And it ought to free us to step out in faith, knowing that God is always providentially guiding all things towards His desired outcome.

Death, Burial, and Forward-Looking Faith

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: February 4, 2018 | Text: Genesis 23

Sermon Summary

When Sarah dies, Abraham's mourning is followed is by a faith-filled act of purchasing land to bury her in the land in Canaan. Confidence in the future fulfillment of God's promises compels us to walk by faith in the present. This eternal perspective does not disconnect us from the present, but instead infuses the present with hope that enables us to trust, obey, and worship no matter what our circumstances.

Promises Kept

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: January 21, 2018 | Text: Genesis 21

Sermon Summary

God demonstrates His faithfulness to Abraham and Sarah by providing them a son, protecting his legacy, and giving them possession of land in Canaan. God always keeps his promises. This prepares Abraham for the test of his faith to come, and encourages our faith as well. The faithfulness of God is good news because our salvation depends on the fulfillment of all God's promises in Christ.  

The Promise Preserved By Grace

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: January 14, 2018 | Text: Genesis 20

Sermon Summary

Despite unbelief, repeated failure and even ignorance, God preserves the promise by His grace. This lesson needed to be driven deep into the hearts of the nation Israel, the audience to whom Moses was writing. And it needs to be driven deep into our hearts as well. We are recipients of God's abundant and unmerited grace.

New Year, Same Mission

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: January 7, 2018 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

After three years of ministry at Redemption Hill Church, we want to make sure we don't lose sight of our mission: we exist to glorify God by being and making disciples of Jesus. How do we remain faithful to this God-given call? We must be guided by scripture, focused on Jesus, dependent on the Holy Spirit, and engaged in relationships.

Why the Virgin Birth Matters

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: December 31, 2017 | Text: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25

Sermon Summary

For many believers the story of Jesus' birth (with it’s characters, narrative, details) is familiar to us. As it should be. But the danger of familiarity is that the "what" becomes so common that we may neglect to stop and ponder the "why." The reality is that every detail of Jesus birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension are filled with significance – including the virgin birth.

The Covenant Confirmed

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: November 12, 2017 | Text: Genesis 17

Sermon Summary

In Genesis 17 the covenant obligations have are laid out, the covenant son promised, and Abraham offers us an example of covenant faithfulness in his obedience. From this story we learn some important lessons about how the promise of God gives us a new identity, creates a new community, and calls for holy living.

The God Who Hears, the God Who Sees

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: November 5, 2017 | Text: Genesis 16

Sermon Summary

When Abram and Sarai resort to seeking offspring through their servant Hagar, it only makes their situation worse. But even though human faithlessness amplifies our pain, there is a God who is faithful to comfort us. He hears our cries and sees our need, and has comassion on the needy.

Abram's Faith and God's Covenant

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: October 29, 2017 | Text: Genesis 15

Sermon Summary

Abram has followed the call of God, but he is still childless and does not possess the land. What about the promise? This is the question that haunts Abram, and a question that God will now answer definitively. God confirms his promise by His word, Abram embraces the promise through faith, and God cements His promise by covenant.

Melchizedek to Messiah

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: October 22, 2017 | Text: Genesis 14; Psalm 110; Hebrews 5-7

Sermon Summary

What does it mean that Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek and why is that connection important? In Melchizedek we have the unique union of two roles - priest and king. This picture is key to understanding the person and work of Jesus Christ, God's messiah.

Faith Renewed and Blessed

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: September 24, 2017 | Text: Genesis 13

Sermon Summary

Following deliverance from Egypt, Abram's faith is renewed as he returns to the land and worships the Lord. But his faith is tested once again as conflict arises within his own family. This time Abram rests in the promise, and demonstrates humility and generosity towards Lot. He walks by faith, not by sight, and hears the promise of God confirmed and expanded. 

The Scattering of the Nations at Babel

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: September 3, 2017 | Text: Genesis 11

Sermon Summary

At Babel, human pride and fear lead to disobedience. God's judgment is to confuse their language and scatter them throughout all the earth. But God's plan of redemption will gather a people from every nation, uniting their hearts in worship through the work of Jesus. As the people of God today, our hearts ought to reflect God's; resulting in a love for the nations and unity in a diverse church. 

A New Beginning

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: August 27, 2017 | Text: Genesis 9

Sermon Summary

As Noah and his family step off the ark and into the newly washed world, God blesses and commissions them to carry on his original plan for mankind. In His grace God establishes an eternal covenant with them, revealing his gracious plan to counteract the sin of man apart from global destruction. Sadly, the familiar cycle of failure and sin and cursing continues, but such failure will not cancel God's gracious covenant purposes. 

The Flood - Judgment and Deliverance

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: August 20, 2017 | Text: Genesis 6-8

Sermon Summary

In Genesis 6 we find sin fully grown - society is completely corrupt, marked by wickedness and violence. Comprehensive evil is met with comprehensive justice, but God shows grace and rescues a man named Noah and his family. Noah boards the ark not just a survivor, but as the bearer of the promise. Sin always brings divine judgment, but hope for rescue is found in the grace of God.

Rescue from Death and Rest from the Curse

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: August 13, 2017 | Text: Genesis 5

Sermon Summary

In Genesis 5 we find the family history from Adam to Noah. But this is about more than just historical information; in this genealogy we find a sobering reminder of life in a sin-cursed world as well a shining example of living by faith as we wait for the promise to be fulfilled. 

Cain and Abel and Seth

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: August 6, 2017 | Text: Genesis 4:1-26

Sermon Summary

Life outside the garden follows the same sad pattern of temptation, sin, and cursing. Adam and Eve's sin is passed on to their descendants. But as the curse spreads spreads and worsens, the promise continues; God is working to bring about his plan of redemption. 

Paradise Lost

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: July 30, 2017 | Text: Genesis 3:8-24

Sermon Summary

Adam and Eve's sin results in shame, fear, and divine judgment. Their relationship with one another and with God are fractured, and they are sent out of God's presence in the garden. But a glimmer of hope is found in the promise, a promise that hints at God's gracious purpose to restore what has been lost in the fall. 

The Creation of Man

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: July 16, 2017 | Text: Genesis 2:4-25

Sermon Summary

Genesis 1 looks at the big picture; a universal creation account that tells us about the beginning of the world. In Genesis 2 Moses takes a second look from a different angle at the creation of man, diving deeper into the details to teach us something about ourselves.

God's Glory Revealed in His Work of Creation

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: July 9, 2017 | Text: Genesis 1:1-2:3

Sermon Summary

Why did God take six days to create the world instead of bringing it into existence all at once? To teach us something about Himself. The Genesis account of creation does more than simply answer the "how and when" questions; it answers the "who and why" questions. Creation reveals God's glorious power, nature, and purpose. 

A Model of Genuine Repentance

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: June 25, 2017 | Text: Psalm 51

Sermon Summary

The Christian life is one marked by repentance. There is no salvation apart from it, and the ongoing reality of our sin calls for an ongoing posture of repentance. David's plea for mercy, cleansing and restoration in Psalm 51 provide a beautiful model of repentance, and points to the sufficiency of Christ's future work on on the cross.  

Eschatology - Distintives P2

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: June 18, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

We teach a future physical kingdom that follows the return of Christ, and then the eternal state in which a redeemed humanity dwells with God in a redeemed creation, the new heavens and earth. These realities give shape to our hope and compel us to live in such a way that values the present while anticipating eternity. 

Eschatology - Distinctives P1

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: June 11, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

The bible is a story with both a beginning and an end. God has revealed His plans to us in order to encourage, to warn, and to reveal the glory of His Son. The study of these future events is called eschatology, the doctrine of last things. Some details of eschatology are secondary, but still important as we seek to understand the end of the story.   

Eschatology - Essentials

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: June 4, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

The Christian faith is primarily a story. A story that has a beginning, and also has an end. The doctrine of the future informs our faith in the present, impacting how we think, shaping our affections, and guiding our decisions. What are the key elements we need to understand and believe when it comes to the future? Listen as we discuss the "load-bearing walls" of eschatology.  

The Doctrine of Angels

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: May 28, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

When it comes to the angelic realm, we must not become wrongly preoccupied and shift our focus from Christ. But we also must not be naive to the fact that we are living in the midst of a cosmic spiritual battle. As we remember the good news of the gospel we see the glory of Christ in his victory over the forces of darkness. 

Are All the Gifts for Today?

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: May 7, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

Are the sign gifts and revelatory gifts for today? Is the Holy Spirit actively giving such gifts? Should we be seeing these manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the church? Based on the testimony of scripture and the testimony of history, here are three reasons why we teach that these gifts are no longer normative or necessary for the church today. 

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The Doctrine of Election

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: April 23, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

The doctrine of election is a prominent biblical theme that tells us much about God, about ourselves, and about the very nature of our salvation. Though the issues are complex and there is an element of mystery, we must allow scripture to speak and submit ourselves to what it says.  

Gender, Marriage and Sexuality

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: April 9, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

God's design and God's decrees for gender identity and expression, marriage, and sexuality are both authoritative and good. We are called to trust His design and obey His commands. But God not only tells us what is good and right, He also redeems and restores those who deal with disordered desires, minds, and bodies. The gospel provides hope and help for those who wrestle with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction. 

The Doctrine of Creation

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: April 2, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

The doctrine of creation is foundational. Though the debate in the church over creation and evolution focuses on the Genesis account,  this is no isolated doctrine! The truth of creation extends throughout the whole bible and has key connections to the very message of the gospel. 

The Doctrine of Salvation

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: March 19, 2017 | Text: Acts 16:25-34; misc

Sermon Summary

The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" This is truly the question of the ages, a remarkable question that reveals an understanding of his need, a realization that the power of salvation lies outside himself, and the necessity of personal response. Paul and Silas answered by pointing him to Jesus, for salvation is found only in the person and work of Christ.  

The Doctrine of God the Holy Spirit

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: March 12, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

The Holy Spirit is often misunderstood, leading to confusion and neglect in the church. We must turn to scripture to understand who the Spirit is, what He does, and how we experience Him. 

*The last point was not captured on the original recording but has been recreated and added to the audio.

The Doctrine of God the Father

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: February 26, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

Knowing God is what matters more than anything else in the world (Jer. 9:23-24). A.W. Tozer once wrote, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." The truth is that we all have thoughts about God. Everyone is a theologian! You are either a good one or a bad one. But to know God truly we must turn to the scriptures and receive what God has revealed.

The Necessity of Unity to Our Mission - p1

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Speaker: JD Summers| Date: January 22, 2017 | Text: misc

Sermon Summary

Unity is necessary to our mission as a church. It is rooted in the gospel, presupposed by the biblical metaphors for the church, and commanded by God. If we want to be faithful to our mission and fruitful in our ministry, we must protect and pursue unity in the local church. 

The Gospel of Mark - A Fitting End

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: December 4, 2016 | Text: Mark 16:9-20

Sermon Summary

Most scholars agree that Mark 16:9-20 was not original to Mark's gospel, but was added later. If that is the case, how should we approach these verses and how should we understand the seemingly abrupt ending in verse 8? As we sort through these issues we discover a powerful truth that is intended to impact the reader of the text.     

Suffering and Scorn

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: November 13, 2016 | Text: Mark 15:16-32

Sermon Summary

Following the sentencing of Pilate, Jesus is taken to be crucified. The true king is mocked, ridiculed and scorned as He suffers a humiliating and painful punishment. Why did Jesus willingly submit Himself to such treatment? Because through His agony and shame God's plan of redemption is accomplished. 

Peter on Trial

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: October 30, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:66-72

Sermon Summary

Why did Peter deny Jesus? And how can we avoid failing as disciples when opposition and fear arise? Consider the contrast between the failed disciple and faithful Savior.

**the first few minutes have been re-recorded due to missing audio**

Rejection of the Messiah

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: October 16, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:53-65

Sermon Summary

As Jesus stands trial before a corrupt Sanhedrin, He reveals His divine identity and destiny as the Son of God. One day the roles will be reversed when Jesus stands not as the accused but as the judge of all the earth. On that day only those who responded to the gospel in repentance and faith will be acquitted. 

Betrayed and Abandoned

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: October 9, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:43-52

Sermon Summary

As the conspiracy to arrest Jesus unfolds, He is betrayed by Judas, misunderstood by the crowd, and abandoned by the disciples. But in the midst of this seeming tragedy His strength is shown in submission, His glory in suffering and His sovereignty in His surrender. . 

Agony in the Garden

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: October 2, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:32-42

Sermon Summary

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus experienced a deep anguish of the soul in the hours preceding His betrayal. Why was He so filled with dread? He was painfully aware of the profound event that was about to take place. More than the physical suffering of the cross, Jesus would soon take upon Himself the burden of sin and experience the outpouring of God's wrath that such sin deserves. Though the first Adam declared in another garden "Not your will, but mine be done," bringing sin and death into the world, Jesus would obediently submit Himself to the Father, praying, "Not my will, but yours be done," bringing salvation to a cursed humanity. 

Grace for Deserters

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: September 18, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:26-31

Sermon Summary

After celebrating Passover with His disciples, Jesus predicts that they will all abandon Him. Though they protest and express their allegiance to Him, Jesus knows their weakness. They will soon fall away. But against the backdrop of their great failure, the grace of Christ shines brightly. Though He will soon be crucified, Jesus promises to rise again, gather His scattered flock and restore them. 

The Last Supper is the Lord's Supper

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: September 11, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:22-26

Sermon Summary

As Jesus celebrates Passover with His disciples the night before His death, He assigns new significance to the elements of the meal, illustrating His sacrificial death, revealing the purpose of His suffering, and indicating the power of His sacrifice. The death of Jesus inaugurates a new covenant, and He extends the blessings of participation to all who will come to Him in faith. 

** Audio for this sermon is not available, but notes are available upon request **

Sovereign Lord, Suffering Savior

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: September 4, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:12-21

Sermon Summary

As the time for Passover arrives, Jesus makes two predictions that reveal His divine knowledge of the future and providential control of its outcome. Though mankind is held fully responsible for sin, God is completely sovereign over the affairs of men. This sovereignty is expressed most powerfully as a display of love through the sacrificial death of the Son of God. 

Adoration and Exploitation

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: August 28, 2016 | Text: Mark 14:1-11

Sermon Summary

In the final days of Jesus' life, two characters provide a stark contrast between humility, and hostility. One sees Jesus as someone to be worshiped, the other as someone to be used. One is willing to sacrifice everything for Jesus, the other to sacrifice Jesus for money. One will be remembered forever as a model of true discipleship, the other as the one who betrayed Jesus.  

The Beginning of the End - pt 2

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: August 14, 2016 | Text: Mark 13:14-27

Sermon Summary

When the disciples ask Jesus about the end of the age, He tells them about the great tribulation that is to come, and about His glorious return. Christ's teaching about the future guards us against deception, provides us with hope and motivation, and stokes the flames of faith with the promises of God.

The Beginning of the End - pt 1

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: August 7, 2016 | Text: Mark 13:1-13

Sermon Summary

Though the disciples are impressed by the magnificence of the temple, Jesus tells them it is scheduled for demolition. Religious hypocrisy is being judged, and religious symbols are being replaced. When they ask a question about the sign of things to come, Jesus warns them not to be deceived and to remain steadfast in persecution.

Beware and Behold

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: July 31, 2016 | Text: Mark 12:38-44

Sermon Summary

Jesus not only confronts the scribes' teaching as theologically insufficient, He also condemns their character as being morally deficient.Then He shows by contrast the kind of whole-hearted devotion that truly pleases God, as demonstrated by a remarkable widow. It is truly a contrast of characters in the temple.

The Greatest Commandment

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: July 17, 2016 | Text: Mark 12:28-34

Sermon Summary

Though many are familiar with Jesus' teaching on the greatest commandment, this familiarity can cause us to miss the impact it must have upon us. Jesus ties together doctrine and practice, theology and emotion, as He lays out our ultimate obligation to love God supremely. 

The audio recording begins a few minutes into the sermon. 

Taxes and Theology

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: June 26, 2016 | Text: Mark 12:13-17

Sermon Summary

When the Pharisees and Herodians come to trap Jesus, this time He answers their question. But neither group leaves happy as Jesus once again raises the bar and exposes the real issue. Our submission to the state is an expression of and subordinate to our ultimate obligation to submit to the supreme authority of God. 

The Authority of the Son

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: June 12, 2016 | Text: Mark 11:27-33

Sermon Summary

Throughout the gospel of Mark, Jesus has displayed remarkable authority. When He clears out the temple it leads to conflict with the religious leaders, whose unbelief is evidenced by their refusal to acknowledge His authority. But eternal life depends on submission to the authority of Christ through faith and repentance. . 

A Dead Tree and Living Faith

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: May 22, 2016 | Text: Mark 11:22-25

Sermon Summary

The cursing of the fig tree not only illustrates the danger of spiritual hypocrisy and mere externalism, it also provides an object lesson of the power of prayer. As Peter expresses surprise at the immediate withering of the fig tree, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach them, calling the disciples to a geniune faith that experiences the power of God. 

The Son of Man Came to Serve

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: April 10, 2016 | Text: Mark 10:32-45

Sermon Summary

For the third time Jesus predicts His impending suffering and death. For the third time the disciples fail to understand the nature of His divine mission, and fail to understand the implications for those who would follow the Suffering Servant as disciples. The truth is that those who are ransomed by Christ are called to serve like Christ.

One Thing You Lack

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: April 3, 2016 | Text: Mark 10:17-31

Sermon Summary

When a wealthy young man approaches Jesus with an urgent and sincere question, Jesus lovingly exposes his faulty assumption and hidden idolatry. Further discussion with the disciples reveals much about the danger of wealth, the nature of discipleship, and inability of man to achieve salvation. 

What the Resurrection Reveals and Confirms

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: March 27, 2016 | Text: misc.

Sermon Summary

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not a legend, not a myth, not a metaphor. It is an historical reality. But the resurrection has more than simply historical significance; it has theological relevance. The resurrection reveals and confirms some essential truths that call us to faith and offer us hope.

Come Enter as a Child

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: March 20, 2016 | Text: Mark 10:13-16

Sermon Summary

When the disciples try to prohibit people from bringing children to Jesus, He responds with righteous anger and makes a startling pronouncement. Those who desire to enter the kingdom must receive it like children. Jesus loves and saves the humble and helpless who look to Him in faith.  

The Permanence of Marriage

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: March 6, 2016 | Text: Mark 10:1-12

Sermon Summary

Divorce is a sad reality in our broken and fallen world. Nearly everyone has been affected by it in some way. When the Pharisees come to trap Jesus with a question about the lawfulness of divorce, He makes some statements that are hard. Not hard to understand, but simply hard to accept. God's will for marriage is the permanent union of a man and woman until death. But the good news for sinners like us is that the gospel marriage is meant to portray also brings grace, healing and forgiveness. 

A Sober Warning of Judgment

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: February 21, 2015 | Text: Mark 9:42-48

Sermon Summary

God is a God who speaks. And our relationship with Him depends on whether or not we hear and respond to His word. When Jesus speaks about the reality of hell, we dare not stop our ears. We need to consider the reality of judgment. But it is gainst this dark and sober backdrop that the gospel of grace shines brightest.

The Ordinances of the Church - The Gospel Made Visible

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: February 7, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Christ has given the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper to the church. In the ordinances, the gospel is made visible. If we love the gospel, we will love these ordinances. If the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin is important to us, baptism and the Lord's Supper will be too.  

 

What is the Leadership Structure of the Church?

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: January 31, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

What is God's design for church leadership? Who is qualified to lead? What is the source and extent of their authority? And what functions must they fulfill? In this sermon we consider the theological reality of Christ as the Head and Chief Shehpherd of the church as well as the two offices of elder and deacon. 

 

Church Membership - A Covenant Commitment

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: January 24, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Like a job, or a marriage relationship, or membership in any other organization, membership in the church comes with both certain benefits and obligations. There are certain promises and commitments we make when becoming a member and there are blessings that come with being a member. Listen as Pastor JD reviews some of these biblical duties and blessings and presents our church covenant at Redemption Hill. 

 

Why Church Membership?

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: January 17, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

Is church membership really necessary? Though our tendency is to be fiercely autonomous individuals, hesitant to commit, and sometimes apathetic towards the institution of the church, the biblical emphasis is clear - membership matters. In this sermon Pastor JD presents the biblical expectation of a clearly defined membership in the local church, as well as the biblical requirements to become a member. 

 

What is the Mission of the Church?

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: January 10, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

What is it that the church must do? What is it that God desires us to give ourselves to as His representatives in this world? In this sermon we examine the biblical mandate to make disciples, the message that is central to that mandate, and the biblical model given to us by Christ, His apostles, and the early church. 

**the recording cuts out about 2/3 of the way through. Although the conclusion and application is missing the main structure of the sermon was captured.  **

 

What is the Church?

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers| Date: January 3, 2016 | Text: various

Sermon Summary

If we are going to build and become a biblical church, we need to understand what the church is. In this introduction to 2016's series on "The Church" we examine how the scripture defines and describes the church, discovering along the way some key implications for us as we seek to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ. 

 

Worship Christ the Newborn King

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Speaker: JD Summers  |  Date: December 20, 2015  |  Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Sermon Summary

Who were the magi, how did they know about the birth of Jesus, and why did they come to worship Him? As we discover the answers to these questions in Matthew's unique account we discover that Jesus is more than just the King of the Jews. He is the ultimate King, the promised messiah, the King of Kings who will reign over an eternal kingdom. The coming of this king demands a response. Some will be hostile like King Herod. Others apathetic and indifferent like the religious leaders. But some, those whom God is drawing to the light, will come and worship. 

True Greatness

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: November 29, 2015  |  Text: Mark 9:30-37

Sermon Summary

As Jesus heads for Jerusalem, teaching His disciples about His impending death and resurrection on the way, the disciples are more concerned their future than His. In response to their argument about who is greatest, Jesus teaches them about true greatness. Their cultural assumptions needed to be challenged and their undestanding of greatness redefined. Though the things of God may seem like a paradox to our ears, it is really our perspective that needs to be adjusted. 

Help My Unbelief

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: November 22, 2015  |  Text: Mark 9:14-29

Sermon Summary

AS Jesus returns from revealing His glory to Peter, James and John on the mountain, He encounters a chaotic scene of conflict and crisis. When a man begs for compassion and help for his spiritually oppressed son, Jesus makes clear that what is lacking is not Jesus' compassion or ability, but rather faith. What this man needed, and what the discouraged disciples needed as well, was faith in Jesus as their only hope.

Glory Revealed

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: November 15, 2015  |  Text: Mark 9:1-13

Sermon Summary

After revealing the necessity of His suffering as messiah and calling all who would follow to likewise deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow, Jesus gives His disciples a gracious promise and glorious vision in order to strengthen their faith. Suffering is not the end of the story for Jesus or for those who share in His suffering. There is glory coming. This reality gives warning to those who oppose Christ and comfort to those who belong to Him.

The Cost of Discipleship

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: November 1, 2015  |  Text: Mark 8:34-38

Sermon Summary

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." His statement captures the essense of Christian discipleship and echoes the words of Jesus in Mark 8. The call to follow Christ is a call to self-denial rather than self-expression or self-fulfillment. It is a call to carry our cross and identify with Jesus no matter the cost, even if it feels like throwing your life away. But Jesus holds out for us the truth that while discipleship is costly, it is worth it. The disciple must have a faith-filled expectation of reward, knowing that the value of what is gained for eternity far surpasses whatever might be lost for the sake of Christ.

Seeing A Suffering Savior

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: October 25, 2015  |  Text: Mark 8:27-33

Sermon Summary

When Jesus asks His disciples a crucial question about His identity, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ. THough plagued by spiritual blindness to this point, they are beginning to see. But it is not enough to understand who Jesus is, we also must understand and embrace what He came to do. His identity cannot be separated from His mission. It would take more time before the disciples were able to see this crucial truth.

Blind Unbelief

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: October 18, 2015  |  Text: Mark 8:11-26

Sermon Summary

A confrontation with the Pharisees, a conversation with the disciples, and the healing of a blind man. What do these three scenes have in common? The common thread of blindness. If faith is like seeing, unbelief is like blindness, and it takes the healing touch of Jesus to open blind eyes.

Jesus is Enough

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: September 27, 2015 | Text: Mark 8:1-10

Sermon Summary

As Jesus returns to Galilee He once again finds Himself surrounded by eager crowds who have nothing to eat. Having fed a Jewish crowd already Jesus again feeds the crowd, this time made up largely of Gentiles. Receiving more than just than just "the crumbs from the table," they all eat and are satisfied, leaving seven baskets left over symbolizing the sufficiency of Christ to satisfy a hungry world with the bread of life. Jesus is enough. He alone is sufficient and He alone can satisfy.

 

** We were unable to capture the audio for this sermon, but notes are available on request **

 

Hearing Restored by the Compassionate Christ

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers | Date: September 20, 2015 | Text: Mark 7:31-37

Sermon Summary

When Jesus returns to Galilee from His journey into Gentile territory, He miraculously heals a man who is both deaf and cannot speak. The unique language used and the unusual actions Jesus performs give us insight into His divine identity and His compassionate mission of redemption. Jesus is the Son of God who came to save.

Unlikely Faith

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: September 13, 2015  |  Text: Mark 7:24-30

Sermon Summary

When Jesus travels to a Gentile region in an attempt to avoid attention, He is approached by a woman who is the unlikeliest of people and asked to deliver her daughter from demonic oppression. In the intereraction between the Jesus and this desparate mother we gain insight into the nature of His mission and are presented with a beautiful picture of genuine faith.  

True Defilement

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: September 6, 2015  |  Text: Mark 7:14-23

After exposing the hypocrisy and twisted priorities of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach the crowds the true source of defilement. When His disciples ask Him later in private about His statement, He explains that the problem is not outside us, but within. Our hearts are the source of the sin that pollutes and corrupts. And if this is the case, then no amount of hand washing will do. We need more than simple improvement, we need transformation. We need a new heart.

 

Hypocritical Hand Washing

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: August 30, 2015  |  Text: Mark 7:1-13

As the scribes and Pharisees approach Jesus to accuse Him, they get more than they bargained for. Jesus exposes their corrup character, faulty assumptions and twisted priorities. Heartless worship is never pleasing to God, and we must never allow human tradition to trump the authority of scripture. 

 

Risk, Revelation, and Rescue

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: August 23, 2015  |  Text: Mark 6:45-56

After a long day of preaching and feeding the multitude, Jesus sends the twelve across the Sea of Galilee and retreats to the mountain alone to pray. Seeing that they are struggling through the storm, Jesus goes to them on the water. He intends to pass by, like God did before Moses in Exodus, revealing His glory. But upon seeing their fear He comes to them and speaks to them, encouraging, informing, and instructing them. Jesus says, "It is I," literally, "I AM." The One who walks on water, the One who calms the storm, the One in the boat with them is none other than the Great I AM. The disciples are astounded and still do not understand. Their hearts are hardened. Faith requires more than being presented with sufficient evidence; it requires a change of heart. What is the condition of your heart towards Jesus?

** audio is unavailable, but the sermon manuscript is available upon request **

 

The Good Shepherd Feeds the Sheep

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: August 16, 2015  |  Text: Mark 6:30-44

Although in need of rest and recuperation Jesus looks on the crowds that follow His every move not with frustration, but with compassion. He sees that the sheep need a shepherd. His compassion moves Him to speak the truth that their hearts so desparately need and to provide a miraculous meal to meet to their physical need. For those who have eyes to see, He is the Good Shepherd who fulfills what God Himself promised by doing what only God could do. 

 

Martyr of a Messenger

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: August 9, 2015  |  Text: Mark 6:14-29

As the truth about Jesus spreads through ministry of the twelve, even the ruling class hear about it and are forced to come to a conclusion - who is Jesus and how do you explain His power? Herod is haunted by the fear that John the Baptist whom he executed has returned with supernatural powers. Mark gives us the sordid backstory of John's execution, a sad tale of immorality and intrigue that led to a brutal end. The one who preceded Jesus in ministry also precedes Him in death. But while it may be costly to speak the truth like John did, the story points us forward and reveals that the truth may be opposed, its messengers be killed, but darkness can never overcome the Light who has come into the world. 

 

The Disciple's Mission

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: August 2, 2015  |  Text: Mark 6:7-13

Those whom Jesus calls, He also sends. Jesus promised to make His disciples fishers of men, He called them with the intent of sending them out to expand His ministry of preaching the gospel. One day after His resurrection He would send them not just to the villages of Israel, but to the nations. And Jesus intends to further His mission through His disciples in this generation as well.

Unbelievable Unbelief

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: July 26, 2015  |  Text: Mark 6:1-6

It is only by faith that the saving power of Jesus can be experienced, but not everyone is willing to receive what Jesus has to say. When He goes home to Nazareth the people are astonished at His claims and offended at His teaching. Proximity to Jesus does not always result in faith. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. 

Jesus is Lord Over the Spiritual Realm

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: July 5, 2015  |  Text: Mark 5:1-20

After Jesus stills the storm on the Sea of Galilee, He and His disciples land on the other side only to be immediately confronted with a new danger; a man possessed by a multitude of demons. Just as Jesus calmed the storm by the power of His word, Jesus brings peace to the turmoil in this man's soul by speaking with divine authority. 

Faith in the Face of Crisis

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: June 21, 2015  |  Text: Psalm 11

When crisis hits, what will we do? To where will we run? In Psalm 11 we see the psalmists response; his refuge is in God. While those around him see nothing except dire circumstances, uncertainty and danger, the psalmist sees God. His faith in God's power and character compel him to trust and not fear.  

Kingdom Parables

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: June 14, 2015  |  Text: Mark 4:21-34

The nation Israel was waiting. Waiting for centuries for the kingdom of God to be established and all God's promises of salvation and deliverance to be fulfilled. When Jesus came preaching that the kingdom was at hand many were excited, but they didn't understand. THings were not unfolding as they had expected. As Jesus preaches to the crowds in Galilee He uses parables to teach on the nature of the kingdom of God. In this sermon we will look at five important principles that emerge as we consider Jesus' teaching on this subject.

Standing in Babylon

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: May 10, 2015  |  Text: Daniel 3; 1 Peter 3:13-18

As issues of gender identity and expression beome more and more prominent in our culture there is pressure to affirm and approve the efforts of those who choose to transition. But scripture makes clear God's will in this matter. How must those who follow Christ respond? We need to stand. We cannot affirm something that God calls sin. This will require courage, and it will require compassion as we seek to speak the truth in love.

(audio unavailable, notes are available upon request)

Called and Sent

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: May 3, 2015  |  Text: Mark 3:7-19

The Pharisees have decided to destroy Jesus. The crowd is more interested in His healing touch than in His life-giving message. The demons are sadly the only ones who recognize His true identity as the Son of God, but this is not the confession He is looking for. They will not be the ones to proclaim this truth to the world. That privilege will be given to twelve men He selects to be His disciples. The call of Jesus creates a community that shares a common Savior and a common mission. 

Jesus - Lord of the Sabbath (Part 2)

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: April 26, 2015  |  Text: Mark 3:1-6

In this fifth and final conflict with the Pharisees during His Galilean ministry, Jesus initiates confrontation in the synagogue on the Sabbath. He confronts their spiritual pride with a question, responds to their spiritual pride with emotion, and rejects their spiritual pride by His actions. The Lord of the Sabbath heals a man with a withered hand, and the Pharisees resolve to put Him to death.

Joy in Jesus

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: April 12, 2015  |  Text: Mark 2:18-22

Jesus and His disciples are feasting, not fasting, and once again they face questions and opposition. Jesus makes clear that His presence is a cause for great rejoicing because of who He is and what He is doing. He is the bridegroom, and what He is doing is something new that will not fit the mold of the people's expectations.  

Resurrection and the Gospel

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: April 5, 2015  |  Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 14-22, 53-58

The historical reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus is essential to the gospel message. Listen as we examine the description and definition of the gospel, and then consider the implications for us as believers today. The resurrection of Jesus ensured victory in the future and inspires confident perseverance in the present. 

The Cross Because of Us and For Us

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 "Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, 'only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross...may claim his share in its grace." - John Stott, The Cross of Christ

As we reflect on the death of Christ today, we need to understand our part in it. While the physical pain He experienced was extreme, and the spiritual and emotional agony of bearing our curse was unimaginable, both realities strike our hearts more deeply when we come to feel the connection between our sins and His suffering. Jesus died for our sins. Our disobedience. Our rebellion. Our cosmic treason against a holy God. 1 Peter 2:24 says "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree." Isaiah wrote that "The LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." We need to feel our part in it, because it will drive us to respond to Jesus as we ought. Like Stott points out, it is then that we are moved, compelled to repent and believe and worship our Savior.

And so we sing with Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) of mingled grief and gratitude. Penitence and praise.

 

'Twas I that shed that sacred Blood,
I nailed him to the Tree,
I crucified the Christ of God,
I joined the mockery.
Yet not the less that Blood avails
to cleanse away my sin,
and not the less that Cross prevails
to give me peace within.

 

As we prepare for the joy of Easter, let's not move too quickly from the darkness of Calvary. The cross that convicts us of the horror of our sin also assures us of forgiveness and proves Christ's love for us, bringing comfort and peace to our heavy consciences.  

 

Jesus, Friend of Sinners

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Speaker: Pastor JD Summers  |  Date: March 29, 2015  |  Text: Mark 2:13-17

Not only does Jesus have the authority and ability to forgive sin, this is actually why He came to earth. As Jesus calls Levi (a tax-collector) and eats with sinners we see how His ministry reveals His mission. For those who would follow Jesus as disciples, our Master has made clear how we also ought to engage in this mission.

Civility is Insufficient for Salvation

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Being nice, or "civil" as Thomas Watson puts it, cannot save you. Only the blood of Jesus that atones for sin against a Holy God can save. And to receive this free gift we must repent and believe (Mark 1:15). Although written in 1668, these words are a powerful challenge to us today.

"Repentance is necessary for civil persons. These have no visible spots on them. They are free from gross sin, and one would think they had nothing to do with the business of repentance. They are so good that they scorn a psalm of mercy. Indeed these are often in the worst condition: these are they who need no repentance (Luke 15:7). Their civility undoes them. They make a Christ of it, and so on this shelf they suffer shipwreck. Morality shoots short of heaven. It is only nature refined. A moral man is but old Adam dressed in fine clothes. The king's image counterfeited and stamped upon brass will not go current. The civil person seems to have the image of God, but he is only brass metal, which will never pass for current. Civility is insufficient for salvation... If civility were sufficient to salvation, Christ need not have died."

- Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance, 1668

Your Ministry

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In February we starting meeting in smaller groups in homes during the week. I want to remind us all that these gatherings are not just an activity, it is ministry. Ministry of the body to the body. How is your ministry going? Are you using your gifts? Engaging in the lives of those in your group? Praying with and for them?

In 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 Paul says,

"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

Faith is hard work. Loving each other can be difficult. Hoping in Jesus requires perseverance. The good news is that Christ has sent His Spirit to empower us and given us the light of the Word to guide us. Let's keep pressing on for the good of this church and the good of our city for the glory of God. 

Our Hope for Pardon

Watson

For sinners like us, the forgiveness of God is our only hope. Thomas Watson pointed out long ago that this hope hangs on the very promise of God.

"He who sincerely confesses sin has God's bond for a pardon: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:9). Why does not the apostle say that if we confess he is merciful to forgive our sins? No; he is just, because he has bound himself by promise to forgive such. God's truth and justice are engaged for the pardoning of that man who confesses sin and comes with a penitent heart by faith in Christ."

- Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance, 1668

The Gospel Produces Followers

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 Speaker: JD Summers  |  Date: February 22, 2015  |  Text: Mark 1:16-20

 

** We were unable to capture the audio for this sermon, but an abbreviated manuscript is available below **

 

Introduction

Our mission as a church is “to glorify God by being and making disciples of Jesus.” That is what drives our priorities as a church and gives shape to our ministry. But I want to ask you a question. Do we really understand what it means to be a disciple? What does it look like? What does it require? How is it lived out? We need to understand this if we are going to be and make disciples of Jesus to the glory of God. Our text this morning helps to answer that question by showing us what discipleship meant for four fishermen.

Mark 1:16-20
16  Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. 

Belief in Jesus is demonstrated by following Jesus. We who believe in Him must follow Him. This is what it means to be a disciple. The gospel produces followers. Last week we looked at the proclamation of the gospel as Jesus came into Galilee. He was preaching the good news that God was working and the kingdom was coming. This good news demanded a response – repentance from sin and belief in the gospel. In verses 16-20 we see the impact that this message had on people. Look at how the gospel call affected these men, and consider how it should change us as well.

Mark records that Jesus had come to the region of Galilee (14). The Sea of Galilee was about seven miles wide and twelve miles long. It was a prime location for fishing. There were many towns and ports that had sprung up around the lake that depended on this industry. Jesus meets two sets of brothers who are involved in the fishing trade. Simon and Andrew (16), and then James and John (19).

Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming the gospel (14). Mark’s gospel is always emphasizing that Jesus in on the move, Him messianic mission is shown to have a sense of urgency. He was preaching as He went, in the city, on the roads and hillsides between towns, and here in v16 alongside the seashore. These men had no doubt been exposed to the message Jesus was preaching. They heard the good news of God’s coming kingdom and they believed. Their belief was now about to make some demands on their lives. Belief in Jesus is demonstrated by following Jesus.

Following Jesus requires allegiance to a new master

Jesus sees Simon Peter and Andrew, along the shore casting their nets and He initiates this interaction. No miracles, no parables, just an authoritative call. It is very unlike the typical Jewish rabbis who were sought out prospective students and selected those who applied and met the requirements. But Jesus chooses these men. While rabbi’s taught people to follow the law, priests upheld God’s ways, Jesus says follow ME. He initiates the relationship and commands them with authority to literally follow.

Who does that? Who walks up on people in the middle of their work and tells them to walk off the job and become His followers, His students, His disciples? Only someone with the authority of a King. He has the authority to call for their obedience and allegiance.

Jesus was announcing a kingdom (14), but there is no kingdom without subjects. Here He is inviting people to submit to His rule and reign over them. These men believed what He said about the kingdom and their belief compelled them to embrace Jesus as their new master. He said follow, they obeyed. They recognized His authority and submitted to it. They left everything and followed Him.

The obedience of Simon and Andrew was immediate (17). The obedience of James and John is complete (20). No longer would their master be their boss or their dad, no longer would they be their own master, but the King of the coming Kingdom.

When you come to Jesus you renounce any other competing allegiance. Jesus said you cannot have two masters.

Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…

This is what the gospel hard to swallow for so many people today. We may be interested in what Jesus can do for us, but our flesh wants to rule. We want to be king. This was Satan’s downfall. And it is ours. Ever since the garden we have wanted to take God’s job, to declare what is good and evil for ourselves. Like William Ernest Henry’s Invictus, we defiantly proclaim:

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”

That may seem like a cool tatoo but it is a terrible way to live your life! Jesus comes to us as the true King. Belief in Jesus is demonstrated by following Jesus. It means obedience. It means submission. This is why Paul and Peter and James and John and Jude repeatedly introduced themselves as servants of the Lord. Following Jesus requires allegiance to Him as our new master. 

 

Following Jesus requires embracing a new mission

The call to discipleship is ultimately a call to ministry. Jesus promised to make them fishers of men. Their aim in life, their goal, their primary purpose changed when they responded to the call of Christ. As they submitted to this new master it meant accepting the agenda He gave them. This is central to being a disciple.

To be a disciple was to be a student. And Jesus promised that He was going to teach them to advance the same message Jesus was preaching - the message of the gospel and its demand for a response of repentance and faith. This imagery of fishing not only was a fitting metaphor to these men who were actually fishing at that moment, but it also echoes Jeremiah 16. In Jeremiah 16 God promises that judgment is coming for Israel because of her sin, but that God would one day gather them in.

Jeremiah 16:14-16
16  "Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, 'As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' 15 but 'As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.' For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. 16 "Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them…

Jeremiah 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth …

Do you hear the echo of the great commission there? The context of Jeremiah is one of judgment and restoration. Jesus is telling these men from Galilee that God plans to use them to warn people of judgment and call them to return to God. This kind of fishing is now necessary because the kingdom is at hand (15).

This is our mission. To seek to reach people with the gospel, the good news. How will they believe unless they hear, and how will they hear unless someone tells them (Rom. 10:13-15)? The Apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth that we are called to be ambassadors for the kingdom. We are to preach the message of reconciliation with God through Christ to the world.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20
17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Coming to Christ means we have a new master and a new mission. The King wants to use us to build His kingdom through the proclamation of the gospel. As these fishermen responded to the call of Jesus He promised to make them fishers of men. It would be a long and sometimes difficult process, but these men would one day go far beyond Galilee with the message of their master.

John would lead the church in Ephesus, Peter went to Rome, and Andrew went as far as the eastern border of what is now Russia. At the end of His earthly mission, after equipping and training these fishers of men, Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. They did. They committed their lives to advancing His mission. We can do no less when we understand who Jesus is and what He has done:

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
14  For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Belief in Jesus is demonstrated by following Jesus, and following Jesus requires embracing a new mission, His mission of gathering people in through the preaching of the gospel. 

 

Following Jesus results in the establishment of a new community

 

“God’s reign does not operate in a void.
It assumes people – a people subject to that rule.
It involves the formation of a community.”
– Walter Wessel

 James and John left their father, in the boat with the hired servants and followed Jesus (20). This was culturally shocking, that they would abandon the family business, leave their household behind, family behind, all to follow this teacher. Discipleship comes at a great cost. They left behind their old way of life, their livelihood, their future plans, and their place in that community. This is a massive identity shift. They were leaving everything they knew behind and becoming part of this new community of people who believed in Jesus and followed Him.

This is why Jesus came. He is gathering people in to himself to create a new community, and following Him means we are part of that.

Titus 2:14 [Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

We are a people. Discipleship requires personal commitment but it is NOT a personal experience. In this early fellowship of disciples we see the seeds of the church. In the NT the church is described always in terms of many making up one. Like a building with many stones, like a family, like a body. Peter points out that we are a community with a new master and a new mission as well:

1 Peter 2:9-10
9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

In following Jesus we stand side by side with others who are following. Our faith has the same object. Our hearts are hoping in the same gospel. We share the same master and the same mission. And the bible tells us that we share the same glorious future:

Revelation 7:9-10 
9  After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

This morning we are getting a little foretaste of that day. We are a community of disciples who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. A community of people who are turning from sin and believing in the gospel. We are disciples, followers of Jesus. 

Sometimes this discipleship is costly. Many of you have left things behind to follow Christ. Friends. Family. Opportunities. Money. Self-righteousness. But none of that compares. Jesus is better. He is worth any sacrifice. Like Paul we say:

Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

 

Conclusion

If we would follow Jesus we must embrace Him as master. He is Lord and must be recognized as such (Phil. 2:9-11). We must embrace the church as our new community. And we must embrace our new mission; calling others to repent, believe, follow, and join us in this new community.

What is keeping you from following Jesus? Sometimes their is sin that we must let go of (Heb. 12:1). Sometimes there are things that are good in and of themselves, but they must be held with open hands. There is nothing wrong for instance with boats or nets or fishing or family. In fact those things were good and necessary. But there came a point where these four men faced a choice; and they could not follow Jesus without leaving those things behind. 

Do you believe His message? Do you believe He is who He says He is? Then we must also be willing to follow Him. He is our master, He gives us a new mission and makes us part of this new community centered around Himself and His work of redemption on the cross.

The good news is that Jesus initiates this call. He seeks us out and calls us. And the good news is that He is the one who ultimately changes us. He makes us fishers of men. He does not require us to become fishers first and then come. If we let go of all that holds us back, He does the work in us. The process is long and sometimes painful, sometimes it feels like taking up your cross, like losing your life (Matt. 16:24-25), but it is worth it (Romans 8:18). 

The Wisdom of Repentance

The biblical imperative to seek wisdom is clear. With fatherly urgency Solomon exhorted his son to relentlessly pursue it:

Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
- Proverbs 4:5-7

The path to wisdom is also clear; it begins with the fear of the Lord and leads us to the person of Christ, who is wisdom incarnate:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
- Proverbs 9:10

Christ [who is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.
- 1 Corinthians 1:24

In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
- Colossians 2:3

When we understand who God actually is, we take him seriously. We do not underestimate him. We do not presume on his grace. We fear him. We see his holiness, his righteousness, his power, and we cannot ignore it. The bright light of his glory reveals to us our sinfulness and shame, and it compels us to run to Christ for shelter. We seek deliverance from God's wrath in the shadow of the cross. Only a fool cherishes his sin and has no fear. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and it leads us to Christ, who is the wisdom of God.

So the question is, does fear of the uncreated, all-powerful and infinitely holy creator cause me to bend my knee to his lordship and submit my will to his word? Does a clear view of God drive me to wisely repent of my sin and believe in his Son?

The good news is that the One who is the wisdom of God came to die for people like you and me who had foolishly rejected his will and his word, people who had not feared the LORD. Christ took upon himself the terrifying punishment for sin and offers his righteousness to all who will repent and believe (2 Cor. 5:21).

To experience the redemption Jesus came to provide we must lay down our foolishness and repent. To become wise we must first admit we are not. To receive eternal life we must forsake the path that leads to death (Rom. 6:23) and come to Jesus, who gives life (John 1:4). If you want wisdom, fear the LORD; run to Christ. This is our only hope for salvation and change.

Think on These Things

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
- Philippians 4:8

This is a familiar verse for many, one that is often memorized and repeated. It seems that often it is stressed in a negative sense … “DON’T think about things that fail to meet this criteria.” While this is a true application and a necessary one, it is easy to miss the admonition to positively set your mind upon certain kinds of things. We are called to actively and intentionally think. How easy it is to neglect purposefully filling our minds with things that are excellent and honorable and true and worthy of praise.

Paul gives a similar exhortation to the Colossians when he says “set your mind on things above” (Colossians 3:2). This is the call to all who have been made alive in Christ. It is ultimately Christ himself, the Incarnate Word, who ultimately represents the most noble and glorious subject to think upon. He is to be the focus of our mind, the Person that we think about and set our mind on. It is when we set our minds on Him, gazing as it were, upon His glory (2 Cor. 4:6), that we are changed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18).