Sermons

Live By Faith Alone - October 15, 2017

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Sermon Text: Hebrews 11:1, 2, 8-12

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Grace Alone.  Faith Alone.  Scripture Alone.  As the Lutheran church prepares to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, chances are you’ve heard those words once or twice, and appropriately so, since they’re a summary of the core Bible truths rediscovered in the Lutheran Reformation.  Those three ideas also serve as the themes for our final three worship services before our celebration of the Reformation here at St. John’s.  This week we have the chance to think about the second one – faith alone.  It’s easy enough to say, but when was the last time you stopped to think about what the implications are?  What does it mean to Live By Faith Alone?  One thing is for sure – what’s easy to say is not always easy to do.  Let me give you a couple of examples. 



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We Are Standing on Holy Ground - October 8, 2017

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Sermon Text: John 1:1-3, 14, 15, 17

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Dear Friends in Christ:  From your knowledge of Bible history, you will recall that God’s Old Testament people spent four centuries in Egypt, most them as slaves.  At the proper time, God raised up a man named Moses to lead them out.  You might remember the memorable way in which Moses was called.  All of this is found in the opening chapters of the Book of Exodus.  Moses, a shepherd at the time, was routinely grazing his father-in-law’s sheep in what today we call the Sinai Peninsula when he saw something strange in the distance:  a bush that was burning, but was not being consumed by the flames.  So, he did what any of us would do.  He went to investigate.  When he got there, God himself spoke to him and said: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”



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Freedom and Judgment - October 1, 2017

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Sermon Text: Romans 14:5-10

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As we close out our sermon series based on St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we come to what might be one of the most difficult sections in the whole letter.  I say that for two reasons: the first reason that these verses are difficult has to do with the cultural context, and how Christian congregations were very different back then.  At the same time, with a little explanation, I am confident that we will all be able to understand what Paul is saying.  The second difficulty is what ought to concern us more.  The first difficulty comes from how different churches are, and the second difficulty comes from how Christian churches today (including ours) are exactly the same as they were in Paul’s day.  And so even as we will recognize that we struggle with different issues, at the heart of it all, these words apply to every one of us here today.  They are words of Freedom and Judgment, and how those two ideas fit together. 



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Responsible for Showing Love - September 24, 2017

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Sermon Text:  Romans 13:1-10

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Responsible for Showing Love  -  What are some benefits of being a “citizen”?  There’s probably a lot that comes to mind.  You get protection from enemies.  You have a stable society to live your life.  You are entitled to a certain measure of freedoms and rights.  The list goes on from there.  But have you ever thought of it from the other way?  What are your responsibilities as a citizen?  Any city or nation or organization has some measure of expectation of those who are members or citizens.  Maybe you think of paying taxes, participation in civic things like elections, or just general obedience to laws.  Most people probably expect that from their fellow citizens. 



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Gifts for Giving - September 17, 2017

Pastor Kent Reeder

Sermon Text:  Romans 12:1-8

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Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.



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The Perfect Time for Praise - September 10, 2017

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Sermon Text:  Romans 11:33-36

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When do you praise God?  Church time is a good time to praise God, right?  Especially a day like today.  Unity Sunday is a great time to praise God, as we celebrate how God has brought us all here together in one big worship service.  Many are the differences between us, but what we celebrate today is what unites us.  We are all connected as children of God who have some connection to the ministry that is carried out here at St. John’s Lutheran church and school.  So, we all woke up this morning, and the first thought that crossed our minds was an overwhelming eagerness to praise God today. . .Unless it wasn’t…



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It's All About Grace - September 3, 2017

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Sermon Text:  Romans 11:13-15, 28-32

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Dear Friends in Christ, Some parts of the Book of Romans that we have covered in our summer sermon series are abundantly clear.  Romans 3 with its concise message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and Romans 8 with its reassuring words that nothing separates us from God’s love are easy to understand. 



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Nothing Has Changed - August 27, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon Text:  Romans 9:1-5

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We’ve heard a lot of bold promises from God the last couple of weeks in Romans.  Last week we heard about how God says that in him, no matter what the situation, we are “more than conquerors,” or “super-conquerors,” and because of that nothing in the highest heavens or the depths of the earth can separate us from our God.  Pretty bold.  Or the week before that we heard God’s promise that all things work out for the good of those who love him – even things that are very difficult and unpleasant.  The week before that when God said that when we pray, the Spirit is there with us, expressing our thoughts and words even when we can’t figure out what exactly to say.  And if you keep working backward, you’ll find more.  Bold promises.  Has the thought ever crossed your mind that maybe some of this sounded just a little too good to be true? 



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A Life Without Fear - August 20, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon Text:  Romans 8:35-39

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Dear Friends in Christ:  Each of us can fill in our own particulars, but what is true for all of us is this:  At times we find ourselves in situations we’d rather not be in. Using weather as a metaphor, it kind of goes like this.  The winds of unwanted change begin to blow and the dark storm clouds of doubt and uneasiness start settling in over our lives.  And then the “what ifs” begin to rain down.  What if this?  What if that?  What if we can’t make ends meet?  What is this doesn’t end well?  What if this changes our life from here on in?



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Chosen for Good - August 13, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: Romans 8:28-30

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Every day is full of choices: what to wear, what to eat, what to watch when we turn on the television.  Which way are you going to take to work or home from work to avoid traffic and construction as much as possible?  In the end, most of these choices don’t affect our lives too much, and chances are, we are going to get the chance to choose all over again tomorrow. 



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