Listen to or Download Sermons Preached at New Hope Church
March 29, 2020 Sermon
A Restful Quarantine – Genesis 8
Noah got quarantined. And without enough social distancing. For over a year. With in-laws and with animals. A lot of animals. While this may describe how some of our young families are feeling right now, Genesis 8 is a passage that offers us reasons to hope as the “flood” continues to rise. God remains determined to uphold, bless, and renew His creation.
March 22, 2020 Sermon
The Choices of Faith – Job 1 & 2
We probably know about the dangers of the material prosperity gospel, but we can also be vulnerable to an unintentional prosperity gospel, especially when suffering comes. But faith challenges us to make choices to give suffering meaning, not to merely experience or accept it, and we can do this because Christ did first and most powerfully.
March 15, 2020 Sermon
When We Come Together – 1 Corinthians 10:14-18, 11:17-34
Today’s service is planned to be decidedly different, and one in which we experience the passage by putting ourselves in a situation more like the Corinthian Christians experienced when they celebrated the Lord’s Supper: a feast. So worship will be integrated with the message with the communion liturgy with a potluck, and we will learn in a new way what it means to come together as the people of God.
March 8, 2020 Sermon
Dangerous Associations – 1 Corinthians 10:1-17
One reason Christian ethical discernment stalls is that we’re so ready to use Christian freedom or social pressure as excuses. But those things blind us from a demonic reality: when we participate in social settings that are driven by an underlying idolatry, we are being drawn out to sea. But the most potent danger isn’t the idols, it’s the Sovereign God, who loves you too fiercely to share you.
March 1, 2020 Sermon
What if Gray Areas are Fine-Grained B&W? – 1 Corinthians 8
Christians are called to be in the world, but not of it. Easy to say, hard to do. To fulfill that calling, Christians have to do ethical discernment. Do gray areas stay gray with prayer and careful thought? How does Christian freedom interact with love? How will what I do or don’t do affect my family in Christ? In I Corinthians 8, Paul responds to Christians who might just want him to tell them what to do, but he wants them to learn to figure out what to do.
February 23, 2020 Sermon
Gray Areas Need Gray Matter – 1 Corinthians 7:1-17, 27-31
Having handled some of the easier cases the Corinthian Christians wrote about, Paul takes up some of the harder ones. Should spouses abstain? Should people even get married? What if someone is already married, but to a non-believer? What is someone is only engaged? Though Paul addresses their concerns, there are always situations that the Bible doesn’t give us clear instructions for what to do. So then what? We must practice discernment – using our gray matter and Biblical principles for the gray areas.
February 16, 2020 Sermon
Whose Body? (Habeas Corpus) – 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
Among their many issues, the Corinthian Christians seemed to believe that their physical bodies weren’t all that important, and so they could indulge in all kinds of sin, and in particular sexual immorality, as long as the soul somehow remained pure. But Paul writes that their bodies actually belong to the Lord, are part of who humans will be forever, and, like everything else about the Christian, should be put in God’s service.
February 9, 2020 Sermon
Right or Righteous – 1 Corinthians 5:12-6:11
We all like to be right. When we’re right, we feel accomplished, wise, powerful, and morally-insightful. But it’s so easy for those feelings to morph into the sin of superiority, and soon we have substituted being right for being righteous. In the first half of 1 Cor 6, Paul offers some ways to stay on track and fight for what really matters.
February 2, 2020 Sermon
Why We Must Judge – 1 Corinthians 5
“To go easy on sin is to go easy on God’s work of saving us from it.” – a quasi-quote from Rev. Dr. Cornelius Plantinga. Paul would have been able to express the same idea as he begs the Corinthians Christians to confront their wrongs so that they don’t lose their grasp on the gospel. But how can we judge without being judgmental?
January 26, 2020 Sermon
The True Gospel in a World of Fake News – 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
Our world is swamped by fake news, click-bait, sensationalist headlines, conspiracy theories, and twisted advertising driven by political and profit motives. It’s easy to lose our sense of reality, and even easier to stop learning. But these issues aren’t new. Back in Corinth, Christians were grasping onto all the latest and greatest, sure that keeping up with ever-changing truth was the way to gain. In their day, it wasn’t the internet, but rhetoric. Smart people could persuade others to believe almost anything. But as knowledge came up for sale and social status, how could they and how can we maintain our hold on the truth of the gospel?
January 19, 2020 Sermon
Life-changing or Changed People? – 1 Corinthians 1:25-2:5
Cultural products around us constantly insist that they are “life-changing.” And we are tempted to buy, because we do want to be changed people. But to be changed, we need something outside the regular tired values of our culture. We need the values of the Kingdom, which puts the foolishness of God front and center, and therein, we can gain not just life, but become changed people.
January 12, 2020 Sermon
The Foolishness of What is Preached – 1 Corinthians 1:10-25
The Corinthian Christians had a chance to move up. If they allied themselves with the right apostle, or the right group, they could get ahead and score points. And that’s what it was all about in Corinth in those heady days of commerce and politics. And so the church suffered because the one thing that can save was set aside for human striving. But the church would live as much as it relied on the foolishness of the cross, which is power and wisdom for salvation.
January 5, 2020 Sermon
Are We Even Talking About the Same People? – 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
We open the year hearing Paul’s fine words to some Corinthian Christians. They have received grace, they are holy, they have riches of spiritual gifts – wonderful! But how does that square with the rest of Paul’s letter? Is he even talking about the same people when he talks about their rivalries, sexual immorality, bad doctrine, and disorder? Yes, but it’s not that Christian people are who they are because they behave consistently, but because God’s grace remains