Mankind had been waiting for the Messiah for centuries. They looked for Him with hope and longing, and they imagined who He would be and all the great things He would do. As we look back to the cradle this week, we realize that the birth of the Messiah was anything but what was expected. God’s plans always far exceed our expectations and the birth of the Messiah is no exception. In Luke 2, we find three life-changing ways that the Messiah’s birth exceeded our expectations.
All of the first four solas point us to the final one. Scripture
teaches us of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone. In our passage today, Paul outlines three realities that the Church must embrace as we learn to live for the glory of God alone.
The central figure in our church is not the pastor or the pope, it is Jesus Christ. We are saved by faith alone through Grace alone in Christ alone. So this morning, we ask: who is Jesus? As we focus on Jesus today, we find three roles that He alone can fill.
We understand we are saved by faith, but if we are as wicked as the Bible says we are why are people saved at all? We may also wonder why there are so many imperfect ǲsavedǳ people? The third foundation of our faith is—Grace Alone. In Ephesians 2, Paul outines three states of grace that Christians need and experience.
How do we find forgiveness and escape the punishment of our sin? Every religion in the world is attempt by man to answer this question. However, we know something important. Last week as we began our look at the Solas, we begin with Scripture Alone. We can know with confidence that the Bible we have is inspired by God and is completely reliable. So, we are not looking toward man to provide the solution for our problem with God. Instead, we look to God for the solution.
This is where we...
The Bible is the foundation of our faith. Everything that we can know and believe with certainty about God and our faith is found in its pages. Since the Bible is our ultimate authority there are three essential truths that we should understand.
Followers of Christ are called to love those around them (their neighbors) as much as they love themselves. What does this type of love look like? As John writes, he describes Christian love by giving us three basic characteristics of love. Understanding John’s definition of Christian love motivates us to love in a way that glorifies God and improves our world.
As we begin to process all that we have heard Jesus tell us in the Sermon on the Mount, we realize how overwhelming it all is. To live up to this standard is something that we can’t even begin to accomplish. The task is impossible. As Jesus begins His sermon’s conclusion, He tells us clearly where we need to start by summarizing three things that our good Father does for us as we face this impossible task.
Matthew 7:1 is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. We hear it quoted by believers and nonbelievers alike? In Matthew 7, Jesus shifts our attention toward our interactions with others. Jesus does not tell us to never judge, but He does caution us against wrong judgment. As we learn to be discerning judges, Jesus gives us four dangers to avoid.
One thing we can be certain of is uncertainty in this world. We react to this uncertainty in many different ways. While we should be concerned about things and prepare for the future, we should
never allow worry to disable us. Jesus understands our tendency to
worry and equips us to avoid sinful worry by giving us three
characteristics of sinful worry.
Followers of Christ face a constant battle—a battle of completeness. We are tempted to sin by giving some of our time, energy, and devotion to things other than God. In our next section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus challenges us to have integrity in three specific areas of our lives, and as we become wholly His, we find rewards that we can never lose.
Society doesn't care much about the word “religion” today. Even Christians shy away from religion. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shows us that salvation produces a genuine religion that cannot be counterfeited—a practical religion that has shoes instead of an intellectual religion. This morning our focus is on verses 16-18, but we will be summarizing religion in shoes by the numbers as we overview verses 1-18.
In our next section of Matthew 6, Jesus turns His attention to prayer. How should our prayer time look and sound? Is there a secret
formula to effective prayer? Sadly, there is no secret formula, but we
can learn to pattern our prayers after Jesus. In verses 5-8, Jesus
eliminates many of our misconceptions about prayer by teaching us four
attributes that should not describe Christian prayer.
God clearly communicates His expectations to us so that we can truly flourish and enjoy life as He intended for us to enjoy it. However, Satan and sin seek to destroy all the good gifts God has given us. This week, Jesus takes us to the heart of lust as he talks about intimacy and relationships. He gives us three hard facts about sin that challenge us to fully commit to God’s plan for our relationships.
After telling His disciples that He had come to fulfill the law, Jesus spent some time teaching them that God was more concerned
with our hearts than with our outward compliance. In His first
example, Jesus addresses something that we all struggle with—anger. In our text today, we find three hard truths about anger that challenge us to examine our lives and look to Christ for forgiveness and strength.