Maybe the Toughest Part About Being A Christian...
We love God and know He's good but there's power inside of us working against. Make some sense of what's going on, find confidence and hope for "The Battle Within."
There's a fight taking place inside of us. Join the fight because the war is won!
1) The powers inside of us are in conflict. One loves God while the other hates God!
2) The sinful nature always wants to do the wrong thing and is always working against us.
3) If the battle is so hard, we might sometimes wonder, "Why fight?" We fight because Jesus has won the victory!
4) Jesus gave His life so we could have our lives back!
5) Sanctification means that now parts of our lives display what God originally created us for. God empowers us to live for eternity and enjoy life now!
Sometimes we live under restrictions that do not exist and act like we're under the power of something that no longer is master of us. It's time to live free and ask, "What Are You Standing Under?"
1) Through faith in Christ what's true of Him becomes true of you. He died for our sins so you died to sin. He rose to new life. Now you have a new life!
2) Temptation to sin is not merely a choice between right and wrong. It's a power struggle. When you sin you allow yourself to come under the power of something other than God.
3) Naturally we're born under the power of sin, missing the mark of what we were meant to be, unable to live the life we were meant to live. But no longer!
4) You've passed from death to life. The life you were meant to live has been given back to you!
5) You're under grace. God delights in you and so He gives you gift after gift, forgiveness, faith, power, purpose, calling, confidence, life that never ends!
Regrets? We all have them.
Pastor Krause shares some amazing news from Romans 6:11-14. With God's gift of faith and our hope for eternal life, we are now empowered to live sanctified lives through Christ Jesus. We have a second chance - what would we do differently?
There are some things in life that hold us back when the solution is right in front of us. "If you want to be free, then you have to let go!"
1) God's Law is good, but when we look at it the wrong way, it enslaves us.
2) Letting go of the law doesn't mean we throw it all out. It means that because Jesus fulfilled the law for us, we are free to choose to live God's way.
3) Through faith our attitude and motivation now changes. We get to begin to live the way we were meant to!
4) It's a simple formula, but letting go is hard for us to do. That's why we go again and again to the Means of Grace where the Spirit works in us.
5) We tend to try to live good enough lives for Jesus, but the truth is that Jesus has made us good enough, now we get to live!
"That sounds amazing God! So... How??? How do I experience that? How do I live this out? How do I receive it?"
Lean into the question "So... How???"
The motivation behind what we do makes a major impact on what we do. That's why it's so important to consider "Sanctification: Not What but Why."
1) Having faith means that we've been given the gift of seeing things differently, seeing things God's way!
2) Our living God's way comes as a direct result of what God does for us.
3) When we were created, it was easy for us to serve God. Sin messed that all up. But God chose to restore that to us.
4) The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith in Jesus which means we have new life with God!
5) Sanctification, because it means living life the way we were intended to live, is a blessing to us!
No Longer Depending On What Our Eyes Can See
Pastor Abrahamson shares a message from Hebrews 11:6. We get to live by faith and experience "What the Spirit Makes Possible...".
"Talking head" is an idiom describing a person who always seem to be informing others or sharing their endless insights, but in reality they never actually accomplish anything. In our study of sanctification we are starting to venture into the action part of the series, that living our Christian faith is just that - living it and not just talking about it.
Guest preacher Pastor Clark Schultz shares a message from John 15:9-17. His lesson is not directly from our sanctification series, but fits nicely as an application of our series.
You Are NOT Powerless Today!
With all the stress that life pours on us and all the challenges to our faith, we can feel overwhelmed or even intimidated. But never forget who's working in you!
1) Believing in Jesus isn't just about knowing that Jesus did something for you. It's about being united with Christ. His story is now your story!
2) Jesus has done all the work of earning our salvation. Now we get to take what we've been given and work it out into our lives for the world to see.
3) Anytime you live out your faith, it is a result of God Himself working in you. This power never originates from you. He is your spiritual energy.
4) When the power of God is at work in us, it means living differently than the world around us. When we embrace this challenge by the power of God, we'll shine like stars!
5) God's Word is our charging station. There we're reminded that in baptism we've been connected to Christ. In the Lord's Supper we partner in Him!
God has given a new life of purpose and significance. But it can be hard to live that way when it feels like the world is sucking the energy and power right out of us. Thankfully, God has given us Philippians 2:12-16a, the verses we studied this weekend as we celebrated Mother's Day and Confirmation.
Who/What Is Shaping Your Life?
Where we find our identity, purpose and fulfillment drives our lives. Thankfully, we've been given the gift of Sanctification (In the Narrow Sense) which means we get to live with the identity, purpose and fulfillment that God created us to have!
1) As beings who were made by a Creator for a purpose to achieve something significant, our need for identity, purpose and fulfillment is written into our DNA.
2) When we search for our identity, purpose and fulfillment in something other than God, we'll always miss the mark of what we were meant to be. We're living as slaves to sin.
3) We were baptized into Christ we died with Him. When He rose we rose. We no longer belong to a way of life that ends in death. We have real life!
4) Through faith in Christ we have been declared right with God. That means we are alive to:
a. God, the One who created us to be walking pictures of Him (identity)
b. Purpose (you have been given a life that is truly awe-some as a part of His plan)
c. Fulfillment (you've been set on the path of life with real, eternal significance)
The Power of truth.
God's truth has given us life and changes our lives. Dig into how this works by looking at "Sanctification in the Wide Sense."
- Sanctification in the wide sense includes all that the Holy Spirit does in us.
- Sanctification in the narrow sense focuses in on the fruits of our faith.
- Once we lived in darkness and death. God's truth gave us life and called us into the light.
- God protects us from the evil one, keeping us in the faith by the truth.
- The devil is hard at work today attacking even the notion of absolute truth.
- Everyday we battle our sinful nature and face the difficulty of living in a sinful world. But God's Word has power and gives us life!
When you know the truth, you have a new life!
Study John 17:17 and learn how God gives us "The Real Life."
As we take the second step in our new series "Sanctification," an in-depth look at living our Christian faith, it's important to recognize the difference between Justification and Sanctification. Pastor Krause lays out the differences with the message "Justification is Not Equal to Sanctification."
Gifts Are Meant to Be Enjoyed!
Gifts are pretty amazing! It's great simply to open up the gift and see what's inside. But there's a second part. A gift is meant to be taken hold of and enjoyed!
1) When Jesus rose on Easter Sunday, He brought us the greatest gift. Like any gift, it's meant to be enjoyed!
2) We've embarked on a special new series called "Sanctification" which is all about taking hold of and living in the reality of the gift we've been given!
3) Naturally we were all born spiritually dead, unable to fulfill our intended purpose or live according to God's design.
4) Through faith in Christ, we are declared right with God. Simply because God delights in us, He has given us the gift of life! (Justification).
5) Every gift is meant to be enjoyed. God made us alive and prepared good works for us to do so that we can take hold of this gift and really live! (Sanctification)
We all want to live a good life.
God wants that for us too!
But what does a good life really look like?
Embark on a life-changing journey with our new sermon series digging into "Sanctification" and embrace the gift God has given us in "the good life."
The Tomb Is Empty - What Now?
So often reality doesn't meet our expectations, but the Resurrection actually exceeds all human expectations! So... what should we do now?
1) Sanctification takes place in us by the work of the Holy Spirit. We were spiritually dead but have been raised back to life!
2) Without Jesus not only are we not saved, we're not sanctified. It all goes back to Jesus.
3) Salvation is not sanctification. Sanctification only happens as a result of salvation.
4) God has saved us and now He gives us opportunities to choose to give Him glory in our lives.
5) When we look for the answer to the question, "What now?" the reality always exceeds the expectation!
Resurrection Is Real!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Those are such fun beautiful words. But even when we say those words, does the truth of Easter always sink into to our minds and hearts. This Easter season, may God bend our minds a bit with the truth of Easter!
1) Jesus finished the work of healing His world on Good Friday. He rested on the Sabbath. Easter morning was the time for new life to begin!
2) The empty tomb with an angel sitting in Jesus' spot left the women dumbfounded. But Jesus had prepared them for this moment.
3) We can see and hear what Jesus has done, and yet the truth of the event doesn't sink in.
4) But when we don't go running out to Resurrection, Resurrection came to us!
5) We live in a world where a man really died and then really rose, just like He said. Resurrection happened, is happening and will happen again!
When the Son of God empowered His human body to come back to life it not only changed Him, but it changed us - for eternity! We have a living Savior. What God promises, he delivers!
Jesus finished the task.
The work is complete.
You're invited to join Him "Resting & Ready." Our final Lenten text from Mark's mini-series is chapter 15:42-47.
Overlooked and Underappreciated
In the Passion History and Easter events, the burial of Jesus is often overlooked and underappreciated. But this event is powerful and gives us the boldness to get our hands a little dirty!
1) The God who created the earth was buried in the womb of the earth.
2) When we witness a baptism we actually step into the tomb of Jesus and are connected with the body of Christ
3) In that tomb we find the fullness of God in Christ and Christ is given to us. The dead body lying there of Jesus is a testimony of God's love
4) For Easter to mean anything, that death and burial needed to mean everything.
5) His death gives us courage to praise the God who laid down His life to give us life.
The feeling of failure can be one of the worst feelings in the world. But this weekend, we study Mark 15:33-41; when it looks like failure - it turns out that God is up to something amazingly significant with "ELOI, not Alias!"
Time to Let Go!
When we look at Jesus on the cross we see more than just a dark scene of suffering. We see God giving us every reason to "Let Go" with Him.
1) God doesn't make us do things His way. He will let us go our own way if we choose and will let us experience the consequences that come along with it.
2) The ultimate consequence of our going our own way was let go on Jesus instead of us.
3) Jesus let go of His final breath because He had exhausted the power of sin and paid the debt that we owed.
4) When Jesus let go of His life, everything that separated us from God was let go as well! He is now up close and personal with us!
5) We get to let go of doing things our own way, of thinking we know what we need and how God should work. We get to let go and let God do it His way!
The Center of Our Story
What Jesus accomplished when He was crucified on the cross is at the center of all of history!
1) Jesus took the worst this world has to offer head on.
2) We were created to be in the image of God but sin disassembled us.
3) Jesus took on Himself the undoing of humanity that sin caused.
4) Jesus' greatest act of ruling occurred on that cross.
5) By not saving Himself, He saved us!
More Than Relatable
Our God entered our story. He suffered alongside us and for us. He understands us and rescues us. He is "The People's King."
Picture A Powerful King
If you were to picture a powerful king, you likely wouldn't picture the scene in the lesson we studied this weekend. But after studying Mark 15:16-20, we may begin to see things a bit differently.
A King That Changes How You See Everything!
We all have expectations of how a king should look and what power looks like. But it's amazing how we can begin to see things differently when you "Consider Your King."
1) People expected Jesus to be a political leader who sought power like other kings. As such, when He was handed over to be crucified, they saw a failure.
2) We need to check our expectations of what our King looks like and how His power looks with Jesus Himself.
a. God can work through political nations, but Jesus refused to be a political leader.
b. Jesus did impressive miracles but in the hands of the soldiers it looked like nothing good was happening.
c. Jesus attracted crowds of thousands but then the crowd cheered for His death.
d. Jesus transforms us but His death on the cross took place because we needed Him to save us.
3) The One crowned with thorns is the King of Kings. The One who looked like a failure was winning the greatest victory. This changes how we see everything!
a. No matter what is happening in the world, the Kingdom of God is advancing.
b. No matter what is happening in our lives, God's purpose is prevailing.
c. No matter how impactful we seem to be at the time, God is working through us.
d. No matter how we're doing on the inside, Jesus came to rescue us!
How does it feel when someone accuses you of something? Pretty awful isn't it? Now consider how often we live like we're being accused. Whether it's in the ways that we suspect that people are unhappy with us or if it's simply the accusations that play in our own heads. But Jesus was also accused. When we look to His response and what He achieved we can have peace and confidence to say to our accusations, "I Rest My Case."