Sermons on The Gospel

When They Ask About Your Hope

When the world gets darker, light is more easily seen. In our text for tomorrow, Peter seems to assume this: people who don’t follow Christ will become curious about the source of our hope, and they will occasionally ask where it comes from. “I’ve noticed something different about you . . . you don’t seem to be affected by life’s difficulties as the rest of us are. How do you do that?” “How do you avoid getting caught up in…

Living as Christians in an Unbelieving World

We’re in the middle of a sermon series on 1 Peter, a letter the apostle wrote to Christians who were struggling to figure out how they were supposed to relate to an increasingly hostile world. Like them, we sense a change in the cultural tides against the practice of historic, orthodox Christianity, and sometimes we’re confused about who we are and how we’re supposed to live. What does the world think when they think of Christianity? Their opinions might be…

Exiled: Being Christians Right Now

Christianity’s role in American culture is changing. Regardless of our political leanings, I suspect that we all agree that our society is on a trajectory that is inconsistent with the teachings of orthodox, biblical Christianity. It’s confusing for many of us, and probably alarming. We fear that God might abandon us, and we’re scared of what our society will look like when our children or grandchildren are grown. Those are real concerns. America is not and never has been “God’s…

Set Free: How the Gospel Rescues You From Guilt, Shame, and Fear

As you know, I haven’t preached at Hoover for the last two weeks, but there’s a theme that unites what we’ve been reading in the One Word devotional book and what we’ll read in the next couple of weeks. Two weeks ago the theme was Worry, this week it’s Shame, and next week it’s Guilt. When I was trying to think of a way to tie the ideas together, I ran across a book called, The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures. It…

Buried with Him in Baptism

hat do you say about baptism to a Church of Christ that hasn’t been said many, many times before? After all, we’re known in the religious world for being obsessed with baptism. But of course, the point isn’t to say something new or different, but to emphasize once again the basic biblical truths about baptism . . .that beautiful moment when a person follows Jesus into the water in order to identify with his death, burial, and resurrection in a…

The Kingdom of God Has Come Near

“Kingdom” is the emphasis for our One Word devotional book reading for the upcoming week, so I plan to focus on that theme Sunday. Kingdom is a hugely significant theme in the Bible–it’s used more than 200 times in the Old Testament alone–but sometimes we’re a bit vague on exactly what it means. Sometimes people think of kingdom as synonymous with the church, but that doesn’t come close to explaining the nuances and implications of kingdom thought in the Bible. Sometimes people…