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A Call to Remembrance

Text: Deuteronomy 8:1-20
Speaker: Craig Marshall
Date: December 29, 2013

An evening service sermon from Craig Marshall.


Joy at the Savior’s Birth

Text: Luke 2:8-20
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: December 29, 2013

The birth of a future king is a cause for great rejoicing.  When King Jesus is born both the heavenly angels and the earthly shepherds worship God with great joy.  The angels proclaim the titles of Christ our Lord and Savior.  They also make it clear that the glory in salvation goes to God alone.

One of the most misunderstood phrases in the Christmas story is “peace on earth”.  This is not a reference to the successful work of the United Nations, but to the present peace Jesus has purchased for those upon whom God’s favor rests which will result in universal and everlasting peace when He comes again.  Jesus is implicitly contrasted with Caesar Augustus who was a counterfeit savior whose peace (Pax Romana) was oppressive and temporary.

We who have heard of Jesus should carefully consider what we have been told, believe it, share the good news with others and glorify God.


The Birth of Jesus

Text: Luke 2:1-7
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: December 22, 2013

This Sunday, by we, “by chance”, have come to the point in our weekly consecutive exposition of Luke at which the birth of Christ is described.

A few things which impress me in the narrative is how Luke sets Jesus’ birth in history – this is not a myth or a fable.  I am also struck by the brevity and simplicity of Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth – especially compared to the more embellished extra-biblical traditions with which we are all familiar.    We also will see how God the Father providentially works out every detail of His Son’s birth for His own glory.  Most impressive is our Lord’s voluntary humiliation for us.  God Himself humbles Himself to dwell with the humble.  God’s King, Jesus, is set in stark contrast to mighty Augustus Caesar who in his day was called the savior of the whole world.


The Birth of John, the Forerunner to the Redeemer

Text: Luke 1:57-80
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: December 15, 2013

Some people have a hard time waiting for Christmas.  One friend of mine started posting the number of days until Christmas on Facebook back in July.  Now the wait is almost over.

As we return to Luke’s gospel, we remember how God’s people had been waiting for many centuries for the Messiah to come.  They had been living in darkness for so long.  The birth of John, the forerunner, was like the hopeful glow in the Eastern sky before the sun rises.

This week’s passage includes the birth of John, which brings great joy to many, and the prophetic proclamation of praise from his formerly mute father Zacharias.  This is the second of the inspired “Christmas Carols” in Luke.  We had studied Mary’s Magnificat two weeks ago.  Zacharias’ song is often called the Benedictus, which is from the Latin word for ‘blessed’.  Zacharais’ declaration of praise is similar to that of Mary in that it is saturated with Old Testament references and its theme is God’s redemption of His people.  Zacharias also prophesies about the role his son John will have as the forerunner to the Messiah.  Zacharias also declares the nature of the redemption/salvation which the Messiah will accomplish.  God is showing tender-mercy to sinners.  We who have been so blessed should serve Him with joy.


The Fear of the Lord

Text: Psalm 19
Speaker: Mike Kelley
Date: December 8, 2013

An evening service sermon from Mike Kelley.


The Comforting, Merciful-Justice of God

Text: Nahum 1:1-15
Speaker: Craig Marshall
Date: December 8, 2013

During Christmastime people are very open about desiring a solution to the difficulties we face in this fallen world. Songs, cards and movies are filled with messages about the “Christmas spirit” which for one day can make everything seem right in the world. Yet this message of peace and happiness doesn’t really seem to be able to deal with the harsh realities of the suffering that even occurs on Christmas Day.

As Christians, do we have a faith that can truly bring comfort in the midst of evil, violence, wickedness and death? The book of Nahum reminds us that we do, for it shows us afresh the merciful-justice of our God. My prayer is that as we see these truths, the Lord would comfort us, call us to change and excite us about sharing this message with others in need of true comfort.


Gird Your Minds for Action

Text: 1 Peter 1:13-16
Speaker: Bruce Ray
Date: December 1, 2013

An evening service sermon from Bruce Ray.


Two Women Magnify the Lord

Text: Luke 1:39-56
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: December 1, 2013

The angel has announced the birth of John (to Zacharias) and Jesus (to Mary).  Now Mary goes to see Zacharias’ wife, Elizabeth.  These two women, who were carrying sons of destiny in their wombs, encourage each other and magnify the Lord.

Some practical lessons we will consider include:

  1. We all need and benefit from fellowship/mutual encouragement.
  2. Many of our problems are because we have an inadequate view of God.  Such problems can be solved when we learn to magnify the Lord.
  3. The presence of Christ is cause for great joy.
  4. God exalts the humble and humbles the proud.

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