Saturday, October 25, 2014

Redemption

A Thread to Jesus

I can’t tell you when my family name actually showed up in the US. I get mixed stories. I think it was five or six generations ago. At least that’s what I have been told. I know there are some Dutch decent and a bunch of other stuff, and in fact I think my name can be found within the state of Iowa rather easily so I have been told. I do remember once when I was on a lay over in Holland coming back to the States. I had breakfast with a friend in Amsterdam, and when I checked back into the airport thru customs the agent asked if I had come to visit relatives. I said no, just having breakfast. To which he said, you should have your last name is all over the phone book. I know family lines are important, and for some they can be traced back a long way.  It’s important to know where you came from. I have a family of my own now, and even though I can’t go deep into the history books on my last name, I know family trees are good; heritage matters for generations of families now, and into the future.
That is why the sermon series from the Old Testament story of Ruth is about redemption of a family in the past tied to the family line of Jesus; who is the great redeemer of all time. To study Ruth is to see the time capsule of characters express redemption that becomes the backdrop to the redemption of Christ. It becomes the fulfilled family tree that blossoms out into the mega narrative of God’s saving plan of Christ, the promised Messiah for mankind.
If you happen to live in the region, come by on Sunday at 10am for the Sermon Series, Redeeming Ruth; A Thread to Jesus, starting November 16th. If you are not in the area and care to listen to the series, please visit Elevation Church’s website at www.el-church.com for sermon downloads of this series and more. Hoping you will get an understanding that you can be thread into the family line of Christ, because of His redemption at the Cross.

In Christ;

Pastor Eric

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Good Word For Christian Empathy


Been a while since I last posted anything. Busy summer, ministry, and family time. All good and all needed. However, many things have come about in our country that require a post of significance within the fiber of culture. It is when we both understand the Gospel and apply it that we can rightly make sense of a many things.
I want to direct your attention to the Ferguson Missouri case. The confrontation between law enforcement officers, in particular that of officer Darren Wilson, one of the officers in response to a call on shooting victim Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by Wilson. This tragedy has rocked not only families, but the community of Ferguson and the nation as well. Many people have opinions and are certainly entitled to theirs; however the Christian worldview has one as well, and I think that Dr. Albert Mohler says some profound things in response to this sad event, and to the response that the Gospel can give. Link on the post and I hope you enjoy a renewed view of empathy during times like these.
http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/08/21/lead-with-empathy-love-your-neighbor-let-the-truth-come-out-a-response-to-ferguson/

Friday, May 16, 2014

The message heard and the preacher ready

On average a person hears or uses 7,000 to 20,000 words a day. Women speak more then men in general, and we listen to lots of words throughout the week. Lots of messages. Some are brief, called micro bites, while others can be classified as lectures. All in all, there is a sending and a receiving of words back and forth. The question is, "for what?" What is about to be said important enough for you to hear? What is about to be heard important enough to be said?
One of the holy duties of a Christian Church, that claims to be a collection of believers, saved by God's grace, sent into culture is to make more disciples (followers) of Jesus.  To preach God's word. That means to preach Jesus. To make available the gospel message to a hearing audience that will be ready to listen and believe. It requires a preacher, and a gathering of people who anticipate God's word to be spoken. Many churches today, make light of preaching God's word, and gather more for conversations and showmanship, then to make themselves available to be spoken too by God's authoritative word, the Bible. Perhaps this is what is at stake in the church in America; the absence of sound doctrine and preaching from the Bible. When God opens the mouth of His preachers, the audience should be in turn ready to hear it. Both preacher and gathering in the ready for God to speak. The attached blog article from Dr. Albert Mohler is a wonderful and biblical example of God advancing His mission in the proclamation of His word being preached and the church gathering for it. Enjoy the article and seek to be in a church that makes much of Jesus in the preaching of God's word regularly. http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/05/16/so-peter-opened-his-mouth-the-preachers-calling-reduced-to-five-powerful-words/?utm_source=Albert+Mohler&utm_campaign=88a7ded68f-Albert_Mohler_Email_June_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b041ba0d12-88a7ded68f-308025425

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sermon Series in 1 and 2 Thessalonians

So this week at Elevation Church (www.el-church.com), I opened up the letters to the church at Thessalonica. I am approaching the letter both in its context and mine. I want to ask the question that many ask from time to time; How Can I Be Sure? The topics that flow from this question are things like, beliefs, purpose, approval, love, service, Christ's return, the church, and the power of God. The assurance we can have from being a disciple of Jesus is compelling for our lives, and contagious for our culture. There certainly is much to learn in life, and living to be a disciple of Jesus calls me to be learner of God. This will take a lifetime, and yet questions about assurances don't have to be confusing, complicated, and convoluted with uncertainty.
Thankfully we have an example. Jesus claims to be the way, the truth, and the life of every disciple.
Striking to me is the 1st century scene with Paul rolling up into Thessalonica, with Silas and Timothy to testify about the truth of Jesus being the Christ (Messiah). This radical message not only called forth more disciples in the city of Thessalonica, but even resistance from others who were content on their perceived worldview to be right side up. Acts 17:6b, "these men who have turned the world upside down have come here also." That is to say, the message rooted in belief of the gospel, was so needed in the culture, that it was perceived to be wrong side up. The truth, however, was Paul's message in the gospel of Jesus would be the very thing that would turn the hearts of people right side up. Just the way God had ordained it since the creation of the world.
How Can I Be Sure? is a valid question and one worth dialog and discovery. I hope to shed the light of the gospel that the Apostle Paul used in the early church, to make disciples, and then share the gospel with the culture and how God is still making disciples in the 21st century church. Having an assurance of my faith in Jesus Christ brings clarity to my faith, comfort in a world that falls short of security, and hope for the future of God's promises and his will. Please download the sermons from our website. I hope that it will help you answer the question, How Can I Be Sure?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jesus Married?


To be married is a relationship, that the Lord as blessed and sets aside as a wonderful illustration of Jesus and His church. It is certainly a complicated relationship personally and culturally. However, God is not confused and neither is the church in response to the blurred lines of so-called theologians trying to marginalize orthodox Christianity, and soften the heresy therein. The re-due from a 2012 assertion of Jesus being married is once again in media spot light and once again is in need of sound doctrine within the context of scripture and seen through the lenses of history. Take a look at this article from Dr. Albert Mohler's blog addressing the latest claim from Harvard Divinity School's professor Karen King.
http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/04/14/its-back-the-gospel-of-jesuss-wife-and-the-state-of-modern-scholarship/?utm_source=Albert+Mohler&utm_campaign=b0ba448ddb-Albert_Mohler_Email_June_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b041ba0d12-b0ba448ddb-308025425

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Moralism is NOT the Gospel...


Dr. Albert Mohler is a recent article jumps into the middle of what many people both Christians and not, get sidelined over moralism being the Gospel. This subtile and pervasive false gospel often times traps people and pits people against one another; therefore loosing the sound truth of the Gospel that addresses sin and saves people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Take a look at this article and remember; it is the good news of Jesus for humanity that sets people free to live Christian lives that make much of Jesus. http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/04/08/moralism-is-not-the-gospel-but-many-christians-think-it-is/?utm_source=Albert+Mohler&utm_campaign=be089b0efa-Albert_Mohler_Email_June_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b041ba0d12-be089b0efa-308025425

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What do you wanna know?

What are you interested in? What captures your mind? What subjects or topics get you excited to learn more about? To dig deeper in? We all have at least one. The mind is a powerful organ in the human body. In fact it is the most complicated, mysterious, and unknown part in the human body to date. Doctors, scientists, philosophers, theologians, and more have devoted their whole lives to better understand the human mind.
One thing is for certain, the mind can be both beautiful in it's productive depths, and completely deprave in it's evil intents. In my opinion and based upon the Bible, I believe that God is the maker of the mind. He authored it for His glory and our good; (Genesis 1:26-27).  Yet, we live with a fallen mind; (Genesis 3), and therefore need it redeemed. This is where the gospel of Jesus provides the solution and salvation of the mind, (Romans 1:16-21). Only Jesus in His human mind of perfectly doing the will of God, offers the ransom necessary for the human mind and whole life to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without having the mind of Christ, the human person is only left with high lofty thoughts of what God might be like, and not the intimate relationship of being known well by God who calls that human mind to worship Him. Therefore a few things to consider when a disciple of Jesus follows the Lord with all their mind.
1. He/She is transformed in a renewed thinking; making their lives living sacrifices for the Lord. Romans 12:1-2

2. He/She is submissive to the word of God (the Bible) to assess their minds and motivations. Hebrews 4:12

3. He/She is devoted to the mission of God (the Gospel) for God's glory and our good. 1 Corinthians 2:2

4. He/She is committed to the community of Christ (aka the Church) as a called out representation of a new minds for Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:9-10

These are a few things to consider about having the mind of Christ. Yet the one thing that should be on a disciple of Christ's mind is getting to know Jesus better everyday. Therefore I want to leave you with a few resources to help you have a mind of Christ. Oh, before I do, don't forget the Bible is still the best for mind transformation in Jesus Christ; study Jesus.

Book for kids: The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Book for gospel understanding: Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler
Book for change and decision making: How People Change, by Timothy Lane & Paul David Tripp
Book for Doctrine in Christianity: Christian Beliefs, by Wayne Grudem

Just a few among the many books/resources for helping the mind of Christ. To exhaust knowing Jesus is impossible, that is why the disciple of Jesus has an eternity to do so, get started, dig deep, study Jesus.