Posts in Sermon snapshot
Faith Working Through Love: Remember the Poor

“Remember the poor.” These are the words of the apostles to Paul as they give him the right hand of fellowship and send him on his way. This might seem out of place; after all they are talking about the gospel. How do the poor fit in? Are the apostles simply philanthropists?

Obviously, it’s more than that. When John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the Messiah, he responded, “Go and tell John what you hear and see…the poor have good news preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4-6) Jesus is quoting Isaiah’s prophecy proclaiming the “year of the LORD’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1,2) While the world champions the rich, God champions the poor, offering them His Kingdom. Through Christ, the poor inherit the earth!

For those who follow Jesus, we are the poor! Paul says that Jesus became poor, “so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) The gospel humbles us, exposing our dependence and poverty of righteousness, but it also gives us hope in our great Benefactor, Jesus Christ. To “remember the poor” is natural for those who live in the grace of God. So come Sunday, and let’s consider the poor!

~Pastor Tim

Faith Working Through Love: Grace

Paul opens his letter with a clear message that the Gentiles who don’t follow Jewish customs are brothers and sisters because of their faith in Christ. The people whom the Judaizers were excluding, Paul emphatically includes. His attack on this unlawful exclusion continues in verses 3-5. He calls God “our Father” and Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is not just Father and Lord of the Jews but of all who believe. The pronouns in this text are critical. Paul continues to speak of Jesus who gave himself for “our” sins, to rescue “us” from the evil age that is present. All who look to Jesus are included in the church and part of God’s family. This is peace!

Another key thought is that Jesus gave himself for our sins. This is an important statement of the gospel, that his sacrifice secures our rescue, as opposed to our works. This is God’s will, to glorify his Son by making him the sole source of deliverance. This will of God opposes humankind’s will to secure their own salvation on their own terms. We are in no position to set the terms of our rescue, and when we try, we betray our self-distortion. This is grace!

So join us Sunday, to hear about God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

~Pastor Tim

Faith Working Through Love

The gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the global church. The resurrection of Christ is essential to our salvation. Without it there is no hope for God’s forgiveness, we are still in our sins, and the wrath of God hangs over us. In addition, if the message of the gospel comes to us through random, unauthenticated sources, then the message can’t be trusted. But, if the message comes through a direct line of witnesses and disciples, then it carries the weight of being Jesus’ teaching. Finally, if the gospel message comes from God, through appointed and verified messengers, than its implications for our community are important.

This is how the Apostle Paul begins the letter to the Galatians churches. The message of salvation through the resurrected Christ comes to us not through man, but from God himself through appointed messengers. This message gives us assurance that we are all brothers and sisters in the family of God through faith alone, regardless of our ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or progress in obedience.

So come Sunday, and let’s begin our study!

~Pastor Tim

Faith Working through Love

On Sunday we will begin a new series through the book of Galatians: “Faith Working Through Love.” We’ll spend much of the year in this book with the exceptions of Advent and Easter. The series theme comes from Galatians 5:6 where Paul says:

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only

faith working through love.”

Did you catch that? In Christ, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Gentile or Jew, because if you’ve trusted in Jesus, you’ve been justified and adopted into God’s family. That’s what counts! That is what matters!

But it doesn’t stop there. Faith works through love. I like the NIV’s translation—“faith expressing itself through love.” Faith isn’t static but active finding its expression in love for God and others. When believers are rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the freedom of grace produces love, joy, peace, and all the fruit of the Spirit who gave them life.

So come Sunday, and let’s dive into Galatians!

~Pastor Tim