Current Sermon Series

Are You SURE That’s What It Means?

What's the Big Idea?

You will find them on greeting cards, artwork hanging on walls, and from the mouths of well-meaning friends. Bible passages that have been taken out of context and misapplied. Applied in ways often very appealing to our human nature! So they're popular, repeated, and treasured by many. But it's only when we consider the context in which a Bible passage is written that we will truly understand what God is saying to us through it. And it will always lead us back to Jesus, not to ideas that produce false hope. In this series we will look at ten commonly misapplied Bible passages, consider the context in which they were written, and rejoice in the truth they reveal.

Are you sure that's what it means?

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Sermons in this Series

Are you sure that's what it means?

June 9 | God Loves You the Way You Are

Are you sure that's what it means?

June 16 | The Secret to Foolproof Parenting

Are you sure that's what it means?

June 23 | Dying is Just a Part of Life

Are you sure that's what it means?

June 30 | Faith Alone Isn’t Enough

Are you sure that's what it means?

July 7 | You Can Have Life Without Limits

Series Plan

June 9 | The Secret to Foolproof Parenting
It's almost like a mathematical formula: Teach your children the Word of God when they are young and without question you will see them in heaven. If your children lose their faith at some point, they will come back without a doubt. Unfortunately, that is not what Solomon is saying. By all means, baptize your children and teach them the Word of God starting when they are young! But recognize that although it is not an absolute promise from God that our children will persevere in the faith until the end, it is his wisdom that all Christian parents will want to follow.

June 16 | Faith Alone Isn't Enough
It just sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Those who trust in Jesus alone are completely forgiven and reconciled with God. This is what you have been taught, but this is such an important issue so it totally makes sense that there must be at least something that you have to do. Then you look in the Bible and it seems to agree with you because James says, "You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone." Is James telling us that faith alone in Jesus is not sufficient? Is he in disagreement with the apostle Paul? In this message we will see that there is no disagreement at all. Faith alone in Jesus saves, but it is never alone!

June 23 | God Loves You the Way You Are
"God is love" is one of the most beautiful and comforting truths of the Bible, but it is also one of the most abused. Some understand God's love as if it were like human love, mostly based in feelings that change according to the behavior of those around us. Others feel a God of love is like a strict parent who is tough on you in order to push you toward great accomplishments. Still others think of God as a permissive grandfather in whose eyes you can do no wrong. He is willing to overlook your faults and focus on the good qualities you have. None of these ideas is correct. God's love cannot be comforting if it is subjective and dependent on us or on our behavior. God is love and his love is comforting because his love is an objective action that finds its fulfillment in Christ.

June 30 | Dying is Just a Part of Life
Dying seems so normal because it happens to everyone and so it is tempting to think that it is just a part of the life that God designed for us...but it isn't. Death is not our friend, nor is it something we should just "get used to" simply because it seems inevitable. Death is the consequence of sin and our enemy...an enemy that has been defeated by Christ, who took away the sin of the world. As believers in him we have sure and certain hope in the face of death, the hope of a real, eternal, physical, life in a world as God originally intended it to be.

July 7 | You Can Have Life Without Limits
Philippians 4:13 might easily be called the Christian version of, "Just do it." There's nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it...and trust in Jesus. Jesus will make it possible to achieve what you thought was impossible: beat cancer, found a Fortune 500 corporation, or win an Olympic medal. With Jesus at your side, there are no limits. But life is not one victory after another, even for the founder of a billion dollar corporation. What happens when we don't achieve what we want? We don't need Jesus as a mantra or a life coach but as a Savior sufficient to deliver us from sin, death and the power of the devil, and that's who he is. When we stop making it about our achievements and instead about Christ, we can have joy and peace at the highest points of life, and especially at the lowest.

July 14 | You Must Be Pretty Important
"I wish I could figure out what God's plan is for my life." Many Christians have mouthed these anguished words. They read Jeremiah 29:11 and conclude that God has a detailed, tailored plan for their life that they just need to discover. This presumes that Jeremiah 29:11 is directed at us specifically, as well as the idea that we have no choices in life, kind of like chess pieces on a board that God moves around according to his will. When we start listening to the feelings of our heart, the passions that we have, or some "voice of God" we think we hear when we pray, in order to discover this plan, we are led either to idolatry or despair. What we really need is to trust the all-sufficient revealed Word of God and rejoice in the freedom it gives us through Christ.

July 21 | Don't Judge
"Don't judge me!" is not just a common saying, it is a philosophy of life for those controlled by the sinful nature. "Let me do whatever makes me feel good as long as it doesn't hurt other people, and don't criticize me for it." Even unbelievers pull out Matthew 7:1 to show Christians how lacking their Bible knowlege is and say, "See, Jesus tells you not to judge!" But is that what Jesus is saying? There is no question that Jesus calls us to judge, but the question is how should we judge? That's where Christians sometimes fall into temptation, by looking down on others whose lives are not as sanctified as theirs, and judging them in a self-righteous way. Let's let Jesus teach us what he means by examining the context of this oft-quoted saying, and then we will be ready to judge correcly.

July 28 | Name It, Claim It, and You Will Receive It
God wants me to be happy. He wants me to have what I desire, so I will just name the blessing I want, claim it for myself and I will receive it. After all, Jesus said, "ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you," right? Sounds like the perfect recipe for happiness! But what does Jesus really mean when he says that? Let's examine the context of this saying and be assured that Jesus loves us too much to give us whatever we ask for. Instead, through the working of his Word in us, he motivates us to ask for whatever HE wants. That is a recipe for true happiness!

August 4 | God Will Speak to You If You Just Listen
Elijah heard the voice of God in the form of a whisper. Many people today claim that God speaks to them in whispers when they pray, through dreams, intuitions, feelings and circumstances. Wouldn't it be great to know that God loves us so personally that has a unique way of communicating with each one of us. He actually does, and it is a way that takes away all doubt and always gives comfort and certainty. We don't have to search for it or strain to hear it. It is right in front of us in his revealed Word! Listen to that Word and God will speak to you.

August 11 | God Believes In You
"God will never give you more than you can handle." If that is true, God must really believe in your abilities to handle a difficult situation! But what happens when you fail to handle it? Is God disappointed in you? It seems like a comforting Bible passage, right? Actually, it is not found in the Bible, and it is not comforting at all! It does try to mimic I Corinthians 10:13, but that passage is speaking about temptation--something we all experience--and it is actually comforting because it urges us not to have faith in ourselves when temptations come, but to have faith in God, because even though temptations may be great, God's mercy and faithfulness are greater.