Sermons on Spiritual Growth

The Beast That Crouches at the Door

What happens when we try to redefine good and evil on our own . . . when we live our lives “east of Eden”? After observing the Fall of humanity in Genesis 3, we don’t have to wait long to see the effects on the human race. Cain–motivated by anger, jealousy, and fear–murders his brother Abel, and a disheartening trajectory is established. When you read the story carefully, you’ll notice quite a few parallels with the Fall narrative (God’s questioning,…

Spiritual Growth: Your Life in Christ

I think most of the people who will worship with us want to grow closer to Christ, but this growth seems so elusive for most of us, doesn’t it? There’s no magic pill, no magic formula, no five-step list to somehow force this to happen, but there are things we can emphasize in our lives to create an environment that’s conducive to spiritual growth. Last week we talked about repentance, and tomorrow we’ll emphasize faith–these are, as one writer puts…

Where Spiritual Growth Begins

This is a second message in a short series on spiritual growth, and what I’d like to communicate in this sermon is the importance of recognizing what sin does to us. Notice the evocative images Paul uses in the text above: “you have died,” “put to death,” “the wrath of God is coming,” “put them all away,” etc. In other words, don’t play around with this stuff. One reason we don’t grow as we should is that we let sin…

What a Messed-Up Marriage Teaches Us About God’s Love for Us

You may know the story of Hosea and Gomer, but if not, it’s ugly. So ugly. God commands his prophet Hosea to marry Gomer, a woman who’s going to break his heart. And she starts cheating not long after the wedding. It was so bad that Hosea named their third child, “Not Mine.” But tomorrow we’ll focus on the beautiful part of the story . . . sacrifice and reconciliation. Gomer had chased after various lovers, and for some reason…

I AM

After finishing a practical series last week on how to cultivate discipleship in our day-to-day life, I plan to change the emphasis for tomorrow’s message. At the root of Christianity is the identity of Jesus. If we get that right, it changes everything. If we get it wrong, nothing else matters. Though C.S. Lewis didn’t invent the following argument, he perhaps presented it in its most memorable form. Here’s the famous paragraph from Mere Christianity, part of which I plan…

Rest

A few weeks ago we started a short series on what it looks like to follow Jesus in the midst of busy lives, lives where we feel pressured by so many expectations and distractions. What does following Jesus look like day-to-day? How do we do what life demands while also finding time to cultivate a real-life relationship with Jesus? The answer is in actually following Jesus, not just in the abstract I’m-a-Christian-because-I’ve-been-baptized sense, but actually walking in his footsteps, doing what…

A Simple Life

Three weeks ago we started a short series on what it looks like to follow Jesus in the midst of busy lives, lives where we feel pressured by so many expectations and distractions. What does following Jesus look like day-to-day? How do we do what life demands while also finding time to cultivate a real-life relationship with Jesus? The answer is in actually following Jesus, not just in the abstract I’m-a-Christian-because-I’ve-been-baptized sense, but actually walking in his footsteps, doing what he…