Resources

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

Demonstrating Concern for the Faith of Others

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: June 21, 2020 | Text: James 5:19-20

Sermon Summary

In the final words of James, we find an appeal to reach out to those who are straying from the truth or into sinful practice. They may be distracted, deceived, or in willing rebellion. Regardless, our response ought to be genuine concern which takes action to bring them back into harmony with the community of faith.

Faithfully Telling the Truth

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: June 7, 2020 | Text: James 5:12

Sermon Summary

James warns not to issue empty promises, falling into judgement. Genuine faith in Christ is marked by integrity and our deeds will reveal the state of our hearts.

Discuss Together

  • How does James 5:12 challenge the status quo in our current culture?
  • Which "heart issues" make it hard for you to be honest/faithful (fear, greed, shame, pride, etc)?
  • How can we combat the issues of the heart with the gospel as we seek to cultivate integrity?

Pray Together

  • Praise God for his faithfulness, truthfulness, and for keeping his covenant promises
  • Confess any sins exposed by the passage (sins of speech, sins of the heart)
  • Thank Jesus for his atoning work on the cross which cleanses us from unrighteousness
  • Ask the Spirit for strength to obey and power to change

Humbly Submitting to the Judge

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: May 10, 2020 | Text: James 4:11-12

Sermon Summary

Malicious speech ought not to be uttered by those in the church. Slander reveals a hypocritical disregard of the law and arrogance in the face of the law-giver, who is Christ. We must submit humbly to Him in the light of the mercy and grace received in the gospel through genuine faith.

DISCUSS TOGETHER

  • How might James 4:11-12 be used wrongly to derail biblical patterns of confrontation, rebuke, correction, and church discipline?
  • What is the distinction between necessary and right judgment and sinful judgment?
  • What kinds of sinful speech are often given a pass in Christian homes and churches?
  • How does a right view of the law guard our speech? How does a right view of God guard our speech?
  • How should we react when slandered or wrongly judged?

PRAY TOGETHER

  • Give praise to Christ as the perfect and true Judge
  • Repent of any sin that has been exposed by this passage
  • Thank God for his gracious forgiveness in the gospel, that we are free from condemnation because of the cross
  • Ask for grace to grow in this area, both in the thoughts of the heart and the words we speak.

Dealing With Idolatrous Desires

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: May 3, 2020 | Text: James 4:1-10

Sermon Summary

Conflict is inevitable. James reveals through God's word that the issues we have are the sinful passions of the heart. These create conflict with each other and with God. We must submit our desires to the Lord to be satisfied in the fullness of His grace and peace.

Discuss Together

  • How do our passions lead to conflict with others?
  • Why do our passions lead to conflict with God? 
  • How does James' call to repentance both challenge and comfort us?

Pray Together

  • Thank God for his merciful invitation to sinners to draw near
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sinful and selfish desires that need to be repented of
  • Confess the idolatrous desires that have caused conflict with others and impacted your fellowship with God
  • Thank God for his promise of grace to those who humble themselves

Demonstrating True Biblical Wisdom

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 26, 2020 | Text: James 3:13-18

Sermon Summary

Who is a self-proclaimed fool? With so many who are supposed authorities on the subject of wisdom, James instructs us to examine the actual source of wisdom. Biblical wisdom is marked by meekness and rooted in the good fruit of Christ's righteousness.

DISCUSS TOGETHER

  • How are faith and wisdom related? What place does wisdom have in our pursuit of spiritual maturity?
  • Why is a misunderstanding of true wisdom potentially dangerous?
  • How did the descriptions of true/earthly wisdom challenge you?
  • What affect might this understanding of wisdom have on our efforts of discipleship?

PRAY TOGETHER

  • Praise God for his perfect wisdom
  • Thank God for the wisdom revealed in scripture, manifested in Christ, given through the Spirit
  • Confess any ungodly motives like bitter jealousy or selfish ambition
  • Ask for grace to grow in true wisdom and bear good fruit

Controlling the Tongue

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 19, 2020 | Text: James 3:1-12

Sermon Summary

The tongue is powerful; it can destroy or bring healing. Genuine faith will yield a tongue of blessing, by the reforming work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. James challenges us to beware of hypocrisy in this area, so we must attack this issue at the heart.

DISCUSS TOGETHER

  • Why is taming the tongue hard for us? What encouragement does the gospel bring?
  • What excuses or justifications are often employed to defend sinful speech?
  • Which of the practical steps do you need to employ in your life? (confess sin, address the heart, offer yourself to God as instrument for righteousness)

PRAY TOGETHER

  • Praise Christ for his perfectly righteous life in which he never sinned with his words.
  • Give thanks that our sins are paid for at the cross and Christ's righteousness is ours through faith.
  • Ask for a greater sensitivity to sins of the tongue
  • Ask for grace to deal with sins of the heart (anger, bitterness, selfishness, pride)
  • Ask for the Spirit's help to grow in self control

Displaying a Living Faith

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: April 5, 2020 | Text: James 2:14-26

Sermon Summary

Genuine faith is expressed through our obedience to God's Word and results in good fruits. James tells us that faith without works is dead and challenges us to examine ourselves and see if we are in the faith. 

Discuss Together

  • Why is it so important to rightly understand the relationship between faith and works?
  • How does James use the word "justify" differently than Paul in Romans 3:20, 28?
  • What evidence do you see in the text that James agrees with Paul on salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? (see also Romans 2:13).
  • How should this understanding of saving faith affect our prayers, our conversations with believers, and our conversations with unbelievers?

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is a gracious Savior, inviting us to believe and receive salvation
  • Thank God for the clear warnings in scripture that protect us from self deception
  • Ask God to help us to live out our faith by obeying his will
  • Pray for those around us who may be deceived, that they would experience conviction and become aware of their need for genuine saving faith.
  • Pray for wisdom in sharing the gospel, that we would clearly articulate how the lost must respond to the good news.

Showing No Partiality

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: March 29, 2020 | Text: James 2:1-13

Sermon Summary

Because of the mercy displayed through the gospel and in the life of Jesus Christ, the gathering of the church must be characterized by a pure unity with no partiality.

DISCUSS TOGETHER

  • In what ways are you tempted to give preferential treatment to others?
  • How does partiality reveal a worldly perspective and contradict the gospel?
  • Why is it important to call partiality a sin?
  • How does the bible's definition of partiality as a violation of the second great commandment offer more clarity than the shifting definitions the world gives to racism, bias, or discrimination?
  • How does the gospel of grace fit with James' exhortation and warning in vs 12-13?

PRAY TOGETHER

  • Praise God for the active obedience of Christ in fulfilling the law on our behalf
  • Thank God for showing grace to us though we had nothing to offer him
  • Confess any known sins of partiality, and thank Christ for the forgiveness he promises
  • Pray for a heart that is sensitive to this sinful tendency, for a hatred of this sin, and for an increasing capacity to love others as Christ has loved us.

Responding in Obedience

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: March 22, 2020 | Text: James 1:22-27

Sermon Summary

An active response to God's word in obedience is a delight to the Lord and results in blessing for his children.

Discuss Together

  • "Obedience does not secure our salvation, it confirms our salvation." Why must we start and end with the gospel when discussing the importance of good works?
  • Being "deceived" can refer to how we view our own wisdom, maturity, growth, or potentially even our own salvation. Are there ways in which you have not seen yourself in the light of scripture? What steps need to be taken?
  • How can you practically show compassion and serve those in need right now?
  • What are some ways you can practically seek to "keep yourself unstained from the world" right now?

Pray together

  • Thank God that salvation is a gift of grace received through faith.
  • Thank Jesus for his active obedience in fulfilling the law, and for the amazing privilege of sharing in his righteousness.
  • Thank God for the gift of his word, and for the light it shines on our own hearts.
  • Confess any sins that have been tolerated or excused.
  • Ask for help to receive the word fully, not just in hearing, but by doing.
  • Ask for grace to do the will of God in serving others and pursuing personal holiness. 

  

Joyfully Persevering

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 23, 2020 | Text: James 1:9-12

Sermon Summary

Joyful perseverance is born out of grateful reflection on every blessing and raised in the longing hope for future grace. The power of God equips us through genuine faith to rejoice in our freedom from the concerns of riches or poverty. Our divine hope for an eternal kingdom is immutably secure in Christ.

Faith-filled Asking for Wisdom

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 16, 2020 | Text: James 1:5-8

Sermon Summary

Genuine faith is expressed by seeking God as the source of true wisdom. When trials come, James exhorts us to ask God for help, and assures us that God delights to give wisdom out of his abundance. But this offer comes with a warning: those who are double minded and lack true faith do not have this hope.

Counting It All Joy

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Speaker: JD Summers | Date: February 9, 2020 | Text: James 1:1-4

Sermon Summary

God is forever faithful, steadfast, and infinitely worthy of trust. We know the tools in the hand of God for producing a hope-filled endurance are testing and trials through genuine faith. Our eternal focus colors our perspective and enables us to rejoice when we see the Lord working through hard times.