Sermon Series: Forge

9/15 - 10/13/2019

In this 5-week study of Forge, we will look at how to live a Christian life in the world today. Being a Christ follower is a process of being refined like a precious metal. It is not enough to remain in the dirt as raw ore. Christ wants to refine us into a work of beauty and function. In the series we will learn how to deal with times of anxiety and worry; what it means to follow Jesus in an increasingly “post-Christian” culture; how to navigate temptation; and the power of living in Christian community.

Messages

10/12 - 10/13/2019 | Shimmering

As we develop new holy lives, no longer living in ignorance, we change public opinion about Christians. Rather than being known as judgmental and hypocritical people, we become known for the beauty of the lives we live. We confound and impress those who might accuse and persecute us. We overcome spirits of rebellion and changes hearts and lives through the attractiveness of the peace and joy-filled lives we live.

10/5 - 10/6/2019 | Forged

Through grace, God transforms us into the people we are called to be. Yet we do not do these things merely for our own salvation, but so that we will be forged together in community with others. If we do not face our own struggles, we will inevitably do harm to those we love and cherish. We are sanctified and purified for the sake of the church, so that we might reflect the true Kingdom of God as individuals and as a whole.

9/28 - 9/29/2019 | Purified

Christian works are unsustainable without a solid core. True, sustainable social holiness - loving one another - only comes through personal holiness - loving God. This comes from the regular practice of seeking after God’s heart, which forms virtue in us. Without these virtues, our lives are perishable. The work of reshaping that God does in our lives is a process of making us pure and holy, so that we will become indestructible.

9/21 - 9/22/2019 | Melt Down

Melting down is what we say when everything is chaotic and collapsing, when we are overwhelmed and things fall apart. While we melt down when we can no longer carry the world’s weight on our own shoulders, a meltdown to a Christian has a second meaning, seen through the light of God’s work in our lives. When we follow Jesus, God tests us, melting down the impurities of our sin, and calls us to him.

9/14 - 9/15/2019 | Dug Out

It has been said that the unhappiest people aren’t unbelievers, but those who claim to be Christian but do not commit their whole lives to Christ. As followers of Jesus we are set apart. No matter how raw and ordinary our life may appear, we have in us the stuff of beauty. We may be buried in the world, but when we choose faith, we start a process of getting dug out.

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples