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This summer we have been thinking about Personal Reformation in our sermons. The first series was on change—How Can I Change? The second series, Scandalous Mercy, challenged us in many ways through the Minor Prophet Jonah. The third series of the summer, How Firm a Foundation, will focus on the Bible.

To think rightly and live rightly as Christians we have to think rightly about the Bible. If we get off here, we don't just get off a little bit. We create Grand Canyon-sized gaps in our thinking and living. Before long we will be…

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Some of us grew up with Mr. Miyagi echoing in our minds, “Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.” Danny LaRusso eventually learned that this odd counsel had a lot more to it than he thought. 

God's counsel has a similar ring to it, but a vastly different impact: “Put off, put on. Put off, put on.” These words come out of Ephesians 4:17-5:2, Sam's text from last Sunday when we finished out our series on on change. One of the key aspects of this passage is the series of “put offs” and “put ons” that we find…

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Reformation. That's not a word we use often, but it has to do with re-forming something that already exists. Ideally, it is re-forming it in a better, more desirable manner. What we call the “Reformation” of the 16th century didn't create the church or the gospel or the Bible, but it significantly re-formed what many people thought about each of these.

This summer we're preaching a set of sermons that all fit together around this broad topic of Personal Reformation. These three mini-series' are brief and practical, and for each one we have selected a book to recommend if you…

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Recently both Daniel and John in their teachings have discussed John the Baptist and his response to the increasing popularity of Jesus away from his ministry. Daniel said that John the Baptist realized and admitted to the fact that he wasn’t “the big deal” (John 1:20). The big deal was Christ. John (McLeod) taught on the passage where one of John the Baptist’s disciples was lamenting that “all are going to him,” referring to the crowds flocking to see and hear Christ. In chapter 3:27-30 John responds to his disciple in a wonderful way ending with “he must increase I must decrease.”

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Two Sundays ago Mike Noel preached on the consequences of the Fall from Genesis 3:8-24. He walked us through the guilt and shame and blame-shifting and…grace that the Fall brought. He mentioned that because of sin we can feel “adrift in a sea of shame and guilt.” As he was wrapping up his sermon he trimmed off some of what he wanted to say. He mentioned that we'd put his notes into a blog for you. This is it. These are four ways we can respond to the reality of shame and guilt but the even greater reality of the forgiveness and shame-bearing of Jesus Christ.

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This Sunday we begin a new sermon series, Wisdom for Suffering. The idea of this series is to take four books in the Wisdom Literature of the Bible and approach them with this question, “What does this have to tell me about suffering?” The sermons will look at the book of Job (Aug. 2), the book of Psalms (Aug. 9, 16), the book of Proverbs (Aug. 23), and the book of Ecclesiastes (Aug. 30).

The issue of suffering is a massive and complex one. This is true at a personal level, because my suffering has unique elements to it that…

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Amazing Grace has to be one of the most familiar Christian hymns of all time. I haven't done any studies on it, but it seems to find it's way into all kinds of Christian and secular movies. If you start the song on a Sunday, everyone present will sing along, not just those who grew up in your church. It is a vivid reminder that something is “amazing” and worth singing about, namely, “grace.” But what exactly is “grace”? Let's define it and then look to the New Testament to answer six important questions about it.

And by the way,…

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