The Centrality and Reality of the Resurrection by Mike Burchfield - April 16, 2017
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
Do you wonder what happens after one dies? Is there really nothing for us on the other side, as many of the ancients or as the modern evolutionist says? Or is there life beyond the grave and if so, what is that life like? This sermon answers the first question because in the same way everyone dies - ancient or modern - everyone also seeks hope - and HOPE is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What is the gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ - and how does the gospel give us hope in the face of the seeming finality of death? Paul gives us a clear answer from 1 Corinthians 15:1-28, where we learn first that Christ rose from the dead, and that He did so in order that in Him all will be made alive, bodily, after death. Those who trust Christ Jesus have hope in the face of death and look forward to the resurrection because the Lord is Risen!! He is risen indeed!
Salvation through Suffering
By Mike Burchfield - April 9, 2017
For anyone who studies the scriptures, and for those who have walked with Christ for a while and observed how God’s will often comes about, it is clear that, “God moves - God works - in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform” - and the story of Paul and Silas in Philippi and the salvation of the Philippian jailer illustrates this. In Acts 16:16-34, Paul performs a good deed toward a servant girl by casting out a demon from her. Paul’s good deed quickly turns out very bad, however, and results in great suffering for he and Silas. But as a result of their suffering, a jailer and his whole household believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. In this story we see the subtly of Satan and how he works to pervert the gospel and we see him overcome by the power of Christ. We also see once again how simple the good news of Jesus Christ really is. And finally, we see how sometimes, God brings His salvation to pass in peoples lives through the suffering of his people. This sermon is particularly applicable for Christians who are in the midst of suffering and for those seeking after Christ, but who have not yet fully trusted Him.
Closed Doors and Unexpected Opportunities
By David Frederick - April 2, 2017
Paul is embarking on his second missionary journey yet this time he has a new team and is unknowingly going to a new location. In the process we see his faithful response toGod as his original plan falls apart and as God closes down doors to direct him and his team to unexpected opportunities to preach the gospel. In this passage of scripture we learn that God is faithful to his mission and will often direct his people through closed doors to build up their faithfulness. Followers of Jesus are faced with the question, do we see these closed doors as opportunities for discouragement or as opportunities for discernment as God calls us to faithful obedience?
Safeguarding the Gospel
By Mike Burchfield - March 26, 2017
In our first sermon on Acts 15:1-19 we learned of the first major issue that arose from within and how that issue threatened the gospel. We focused primarily on the threat to the gospel as compared to the real gospel; and we looked at some of the results of the gospel as it is proclaimed in it’s simplicity and embraced by people who believe it. In this sermon, the second from Acts 15, we see how the apostles and elders at Jerusalem answered this threat in such a way so as to safeguard the gospel, safeguard the unity of the church and safeguard the worship of the church. The sermon also examines how safeguarding the gospel today against the three most common threats to it’s purity is of utmost importance for the church. Further, the sermon shows how church leaders are called to solve problems in the church, while calling the church to walk in love toward one another.
A Crisis and a Council
By Mike Burchfield - March 19, 2017
In the book of Acts two facts come out clearly about the early history of the church. First, the story of the dynamic spread of the gospel of Christ and the establishment of the church is explained; and second, wherever the gospel was preached, opposition arose to threaten the gospels spread. Initially the opposition to the gospel came from the outside. But eventually, the source of the opposition shifted and threats to the gospel arose from within the church. As we begin Acts chapter 15 we have the first example of a threat the gospel from within the church. The threat itself arose when certain men of the party of the Pharisees began telling Gentil believers that they could not be saved unless they were circumcised after the tradition of Moses. As a result Paul and Barnabas dissented and were eventually sent to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with the apostles and elders in that city. This sermon explains the threat to the gospel and why it was so dangerous and examines how the apostles Peter and James eventually defended the gospel. This message is particularly applicable today because many threats to the gospel, both from outside and inside the church exist. The sermon shows how adding to the gospel nullifies faith and makes Christ of no account. The sermon also poses questions designed to help people determine what the object of their faith truly is and encourages people to place their whole faith in Christ as God’s Son, risen from the dead.
The Unpredictable and Exciting Mission of Christ
By Mike Burchfield - March 12, 2017
Taken as a whole, Acts 13 and 14 give us two insights into the impact of the gospel of Christ. We see first, that as Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel the results were both unpredictable and exciting; and we also learn that Paul and Barnabas carried out their mission following a simple and single method. This sermon looks back over Paul’s first mission journey and surveys the exciting and unpredictable impact of the gospel, before examining the simple method used by Paul and Barnabas as ambassadors of Christ. The message shows how the apostles simply preached the gospel, explaining who Jesus is, what He did and why what He did is important. It moves on to show what the apostles did after the gospel was believed and closes with an encouragement to Christians who are facing tribulation.