the big idea:
Could we know the gospel and yet not really know the gospel? In much of Christianity moralism and legalism have often eclipsed the gospel. In this series we will seek to cut through the superficiality of religion and reacquaint ourselves with the revolutionary truth of God’s gracious acceptance of us in Christ. The gospel is the power of God, and the only true source of joy, freedom, radical generosity, and audacious faith. The gospel produces in us what religion never could: a heart that desires God.
The series marvels at the revolutionary truth of the gospel and how the message of God’s gracious love in Christ changes our hearts and our world. In other words, we begin by looking with new eyes at how the gospel changes us. Yet the power of the gospel doesn’t stop with us. It has the power to change this whole great big world in which we live. We pray that the final result of this series will be an applicable, exciting vision of how God will use us to bring his healing to the world.
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
January 7: Hope (Epiphany)
This world is dark. There seems to be no end to sickness, sadness and struggle. There is so much prejudice and spiteful pride. The darkness is oppressive. Into this darkness God speaks a message of hope, a message of rescue, forgiveness, a second chance, new life. This hope is food for our weary souls.
Scriptures: Isaiah 42:1-4; Ephesians 2:12-13; Matthew 2:1-12
Sermon Text: Matthew 2:1-12
January 14: Identity (Baptism of Our Lord)
The world causes us to question ourselves. Have you made it? Are you good enough? Does your life really have any value? Way too many of us feel that we don’t measure up. But we’re looking for personal value in the wrong place. We’re looking to what we do and don’t do. We’re focused on what other people think. It’s what God thinks that truly matters.
Scriptures: Isaiah 49:1-6; Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 3:26,27; Mark 1:9-11
Sermon Text: Galatians 3:26,27
January 21: Community
Rugged individualism—it’s the ideal that this country was built on. Along with the two year old we proclaim: “I can do it myself!” I don’t need anybody. But the gospel is all about God coming alongside us and fulfilling our need. We need each other. We were created to live together in community, with strengths that bless another’s weakness. The gospel compels us and empowers us to live in community.
Scriptures: Romans 12:9-16; Ephesians 4:15-16; Mark 3:31-35
Sermon Text: Hebrews 10:19-24
January 28: Purpose
The world teaches us that the best thing we can be doing is looking out for ourselves, promoting ourselves, satisfying ourselves. We weren’t created for this kind of living. Sooner or later it leaves us feeling empty and listless. Jesus was other-focused in his life and in his death. This is what we were created for. This changes everything for us.
Scriptures: Psalm 118:15-21; 2 Peter 2:9-10; Mark 2:13-17
Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
February 4: Love
Nothing we can do will make God love us less or love us more. Think about how that truth changes your life. Think about how that truth liberates you from the fears and self-imposed expectations that weigh you down. Think about what life would look like, how the world would change if you not only allowed yourself to be loved this way, but earnestly asked God to help you love others this way!
Scriptures: Micah 6:6-8; 1 John 3:11-20; Mark 12:28-33
Sermon Text: 1 John 3:11-20