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Repentance and Revival

Text: I Samuel 7
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 25, 2008

How often do American churchgoers these days hear sermons about repentance? Many popular preachers are more concerned about building up their hearers’ self esteem than bringing them under conviction of sin. Even some reformed Christians are so eager to hear exclusively about what God has done for us in Christ that they are wary of sermons which proclaim our duty to actively turn from our sin.

When Israel had tried to defeat the Philistines by bringing the ark of the covenant into battle, they were crushed (I Samuel 4). Twenty years later, when the Israelites finally cried out to the Lord and heeded Samuel’s call to repentance, the Lord gave them a great victory. They marked their victory with the Ebenezer (If you pay attention on Sunday, you’ll know what an Ebenezer is).

The church today needs preachers like Samuel who will proclaim the necessity of a heartfelt turning from sin to God. We too have idols which contribute to our spiritual defeats. When we turn to God, He gives us help and victory – which we should remember.

Grace to the Humble

Text: James 4:1-10
Speaker: Mike Kelley
Date: May 18, 2008

James 4:1-10 – What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Women Encouraging Women

Text: Titus 2:3-5
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 11, 2008

In an age when women are pressured to either become feminists or sex-objects, it is important that we present a biblical view of what it means to be a woman.

Women have been given a different role than that of men in the church and in the home. They have unique spiritual needs. They face different challenges and temptations. God’s design in the church is that the Elders encourage the older (more mature) women to train the younger ladies to be the kind of women who honor God with their femininity. My hope is to encourage the entire congregation to embrace the beautiful biblical vision of womanhood presented in Titus 2. (Don’t worry if you are single or male, this text will speak to you as well).

Lessons in Ark-eology

Text: I Samuel 5:1-7:2
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 4, 2008

This week we finish the second major section of I Samuel: The Ark Narrative (chapters 4-6). Last week we saw that when Israel tried to use the ark of the covenant as a magic charm in battle, they were soundly defeated by the Philistines and the ark was taken captive. The Philistines supposed that their god Dagon had given them victory over the LORD. The LORD demonstrates, however, that He is still sovereign and that He can take care of His ark and His people. After God creates havoc among the Philistines by destroying Dagon’s statue (a humorous account) and by smiting them with tumors (not funny to them), the Philistines are more eager to get rid of the ark than they had been to capture it in the first place.

One of the most striking lessons of this text is the hardness of heart among the Philistine leaders.They keep propping up and pasting back together their worthless idol Dagon, rather than bowing the knee to the LORD who has demonstrated Himself to be the One True God. Isn’t that what people do in our day as well?

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