Sermons

March 2016

The New Normal - March 27, 2016

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

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In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.  Perhaps Benjamin Franklin spoke these words a bit tongue in cheek, probably trying to make a political point.  But what has made this statement stand the test of time, to the point where it is still quoted today, nearly 250 years later?  “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  It’s not really poetic, nor is it particularly inspiring.  But it contains a universal truth of life in this world that we can all relate to – No matter how hard you work, no matter how much stuff you accumulate, no matter how many friends you have, no matter what you do – there really is only one thing that is truly guaranteed: it all ends with death. 



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Punishment and Peace - March 25, 2016

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon Text: Isaiah 53:4-6

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4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.



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The New Covenant - March 24, 2016

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Jeremiah 31:31-34

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“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah… for I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”  (31, 34)



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A King Like No Other - March 20, 2016

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: Isaiah 45:22-25

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In even a brief survey of world history, you can find all kinds of examples of world leaders who claim to have some connection to God—or in many cases, the gods, depending on the religious system of their culture.  Egyptian pharaohs, emperors from Greece to Rome to China and Japan, Chiefs of tribes in early America, Africa and Australia, Middle Eastern Shahs, and North Korean dictators are all surrounded by rumors and assertions that they have some divine privilege that qualifies them to lead people with an authority that ought not to be opposed.  In some cases, they claim to be descended from the divine; in others, they have unique access to the will and the power of God (or the gods), and that gives them the right to tell everyone else what to do. 



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This Man Went Home Justified - March 16, 2016

Pastor Wilcox

Sermon text: Luke 18:9-14

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“It’s not my fault!” If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably heard a student say that. If you’re a supervisor, you’ve probably heard it from an employee. What always follows that statement? That person attempts to justify himself or herself. And what does that mean? They make an excuse for what they did. They try to shift the blame and get out of whatever consequences might be coming.



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Included Among God's People - March 13, 2016

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: Isaiah 43:16-24

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The students sat at the police station, waiting for their parents to arrive and take them home.  Somehow it had seemed like a good idea at the time, a little harmless fun, but now there were legal charges, possible school expulsions, and fines coming their way.  It wasn’t supposed to go like this!  What would their parents say?  What would their friends say?  If only they could go back and have a re-do, things would happen differently.  



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We Have No King But Caesar - March 9, 2016

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: John 19:12-16

Dear Friends in Christ, According to the international organization, Open Doors, 2015 will go down as the worst year on record for Christian persecution.  Many Christians (especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Pacific Rim) are paying with their lives for their allegiance to Jesus.  Thus it has always been. 

We begin this evening with a similar situation from an earlier time.  The year is A.D. 155. His name was Polycarp.  He was the long time pastor of the church in Smyrna, located in what back then was called Asia Minor but today we know as Turkey.  Some of you might remember it as one of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation.



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Repetition and Compassion - March 6, 2016

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Judges 10:6-16

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Dear Friends in Christ, Did you know that if you type the words “social cycle theory” into your computer search engine you will find almost two hundred million entries devoted to this topic? The term itself may be relatively new, but the concept certainly is not.  From ancient times people have seen patterns in history; how a Dark Age (however you wish to understand that) eventually turns into a Golden Age and then turns back into a new and different kind of Dark Age which eventually gives way to a new and different kind of Golden Age.  Sort of like the instructions on a bottle of shampoo – wash, rinse, repeat – but on a human, historical level.



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