This week’s sermon is part one of a two-part series being preached by Pastor Michael Nowling and is titled “Discipline and Instruction.” It is understood that discipline and instruction sound about as exciting as sawdust. The Scriptures tell us that discipline is not pleasant when we receive it. However, as Paul describes the relationships within the household, he says that parents are to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This is part of growing toward maturity. Whether you are a child in your parents’ household or the head of your own, there is a need for continued growth. Pay attention to Paul as he describes the family and what it means to parent; it will be interesting.
This week’s sermon title is “The Beginning and The End.” What do we know for absolutely certain about life? What is it that all of reality testifies to every day? This: there is a beginning and there is an end. That is true of the lifespan of a tree, the length of a highway, the period of an illness, and, of course, every human life. We see beginnings and endings all around us each day. Yet the one thing frequently contested about the universe is what was its beginning and will it have an end? Like the Preacher of Ecclesiastes, we like to say “that which has been is that which will be . . . there is nothing new under the sun.”
This week’s sermon title is “Reminders.” Why did the apostle Peter write a second letter? Surely one letter would have done the job just dandy. The answer is that Peter was inspired of God to write a second letter. This second letter sort of thing is a mark of God since creation. Sometimes we think it’s only old folk who have a problem with forgetting. The reality is that forgetting is a human problem. Regardless of your age, you are able to forget what you wanted to remember! God knows such is the case. He made us, after all. This second letter is an example of what God has done from the beginning.
This week’s sermon was given by Pastor Steve Myer’s and the title is “Let’s Chew on the Core.” We are being told there is a new reality of liberty for our culture today; a new morality that is openly accepting of all genders, marital unions, and sexual identities; a new paradigm of religious inclusiveness that tolerates all faith practices except any that are intolerant to this new reality of liberty being foisted upon us. What is at the core of this new reality of liberty? It is a diabolical strategy of lies that seeks to lead people to reject Christianity. Simply stated, the core of this new reality of liberty is the rejection of God – God’s truth, God’s rule, and God’s morality. It’s time for us to chew on – consider with deliberation – the core of our Christian faith.
This week’s sermon title is “Are You Saved?” Is there a more important question in the world than the one posed in the sermon title? Not really. It is a question that has plagued many folk. Assurance of salvation can sometimes be elusive. Another question comes up: Suppose you are in a saved condition today, does that mean you’ll be in a saved condition tomorrow or next year at this time or ten years from now? Peter speaks of folk who are “entangled again” in the deceits and defilements of the world. Of whom is he speaking? The prophet Ezekiel and the apostle Paul will help us answer these questions.
This week’s sermon title is “Keepers of the Trap.” Don’t you wish everything was labeled accurately? Everything is labeled, of course, but not with accuracy. Peter talks about springs – that is, places where you can expect to find water – but he’s referring to springs that have no water. Jeremiah lamented in his day the many priests and prophets who turned out not to be true priests and prophets – for no one profited from their ministry. Indeed, they were like the false apostles Paul knew to be in Corinth. Such folk, he says, are like Satan who disguises himself as an angel of light. All these are really keepers of the trap.
This week’s sermon title is “Subterfuge.” If you read the account of Balaam that threads its way through Numbers 22-24, Balaam becomes a very sympathetic figure. He was a non-Israelite used by God to bless the Israelites. He was a gifted, spiritual man. Yet, throughout Scripture Balaam is held up as a very malign influence in the life of the Israelite nation. What’s going on? Well, Peter gives us a hint of an answer. He speaks of “the way of Balaam,” that is, a particular subterfuge he employed. But it is the Lord Jesus in His words to the church at Pergamum who explains what that way is.
This week’s sermon title is “A Pure Church.” On this Lord’s Day we will install new Consistorymen, men recognized as leaders in our congregation. We pray God will make them true and faithful leaders. An issue for the people of God down through the ages has been leaders who led them astray. That’s the very issue to which Peter speaks in today’s text when he mentions “false prophets and teachers.” In Isaiah’s day there were leaders who counseled relying on Egypt for help. When Jesus was born, the leader of the Jewish nation was wicked King Herod. The point: can we ever have a perfectly pure church?
This year’s (2017) formal Christmas Eve sermon title is “The Lord Knows How.” An old man named Simeon meets Mary and Joseph in the temple as they bring the baby Jesus for the required rites. Simeon speaks prophetically to Mary, telling her the child she has borne will be the occasion for the rise and fall of many in Israel. What he means is that Jesus will be cause of the redemption of some and the judgment o others. When Jesus comes to a person or a family or a people or a nation there must be a response to Him. Such is always the case. Peter wants us to know that God knows how to do judgment: for the wicked and for the godly.
This week’s sermon title is “Maligned.” On this Christmas Eve morning we want to take some consideration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. What was it like for her to carry the Messiah in her womb? How exactly did that come about anyway? Mary’s situation resulted in much speculation in her own days – most of which was not very favorable towards her. In fact, she was maligned – as would be her Son in due time – for the circumstances of her pregnancy and giving birth. Such continues to be the case in some circles even today. The problem: how does a virgin get pregnant and remain a virgin?
This week’s sermon is titled “Inspired of God.” How ought one to approach the Scriptures? Peter has a good rule for us; one that he says should have priority over all other considerations. We’re in the Christmas season, which means it is a time when lots of questions about Jesus arise. Who was He? How did His birth come about? Does it have any meaning for today? We celebrate Christmas because we know the Scriptures tell us that Jesus is the Messiah. But can we trust the Bible when it says that? Aren’t there plenty of folk who know the Bible but don’t think much of Jesus? We need to hear what Peter tells us.
This week it’s time for another Quodlibet Sunday. By now you know the exercise: receive a quarter sheet of paper with your bulletin, write on it any question(s) you want to ask the Preacher, hand it to the usher just prior to the sermon, and wait to see if it comes to the top of the pile and gets answered. For those who are new to Leidy’s Church the Second Sunday of Advent is always Quodlibet Sunday. The term comes from medieval times and means, “Ask whatever you will.” Since the Preacher could not prepare, he spent Saturday night with his wife at the Consistory Christmas party making merry!
This week’s sermon title is “Pay Attention!” It’s the first Sunday of Advent, the season for giving thanks for the first coming/advent of the Lord Jesus as well as anticipating the final coming/advent of the Lord Jesus. These are events which draw skeptics out of the woodwork. Did the events of Jesus’ life really happen, especially the miraculous ones? Is it really rational to expect Him to come a final time bringing judgment for all time? Christianity is grounded in fact, not speculation. Other religions have myths and legends to inspire, but those accounts are not thought to be real. Not so with Christian faith.
This week’s sermon title is “Leaving a Legacy.” Moses, Peter, and Paul. We know those names. Each was an outstanding man of God in his day. We know something of the lives they lived. In the course of those lives each had ample experiences of human failure – failures on their own part and failures on the part of others. As each faces the fact that his death will be sooner rather than later, each has the same impulse: leave a legacy. They were not looking for places to be named after them, or for statues to be erected in their memory. Nope, what they wanted was a living legacy in the lives of others.
This week Pastor Michael Nowling is our guest preacher and his sermon title is “Useful and Fruitful.” and was given by Have you ever intentionally thought it would be best if you were useless and unfruitful? While this is an odd question, the answer is generally straightforward. People tend to want to be useful and fruitful. People tend to want their lives to have some consequence. Peter discusses how Christians might grow in their faith so that they would not be useless and unfruitful. He helps us understand the relationships between our being called by God, our efforts, and our fruitfulness in life. Let us then make every effort powered by the Spirit toward fruitfulness!
This week’s sermon title is “Promises.” There is a great contest that goes on all the time in all the world around us. It is a contest between promises: which will we believe? Moses grew up in royal splendor as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He had the promise of the treasures of Egypt at his disposal. In the end, he turned aside from all that for better promises. In much the same way, the apostle Peter exhorts the early church to be aware of the precious and magnificent promises that reveal the love and care of God and the Lord Jesus. It’s those promises that bring deliverance from worldly lusts.
This week’s sermon is titled “Identity Crisis.” This Lord’s Day we will begin working our way through Second Peter. Written just prior to his rapidly approaching martyrdom, it is the last word we have from this man Jesus called a rock of the Church. Peter had repeated identity crises in the course of his life. While Jesus called him a rock, Jesus also called him Satan and said Peter would deny knowing Him. Jesus also told Peter Satan was out to get him. Finally, Jesus repeatedly asked Peter if he loved Him. At the end of his life, how does Peter identify himself: with a bold humility that comes from true faith.
This week we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with special music provided by our guests The Suite Brass, while also closing out our sermon series on the fundamentals of Christianity with a sermon titled “The End of All Things.” Hollywood is a fruitful source of notions about how the world is going to end, or should we say terminate! From contagions to asteroids to robots to spider-like artificial intelligence networks to alien invaders to global warming to . . . well, you name it. One thing Hollywood has correct is that the end of all things is a reality. This world and all it contains will have a termination point. It will not be initiated by natural disasters nor space invaders nor some invention of man gone awry. The end of all things happens when Jesus returns. It will be glorious!
This week’s sermon title is “Early Out or No Escape?” On this Lord’s Day we want to talk about death and what happens to someone when he dies. Every person has to think about that at some point in life, and many different answers have been posited. This is a particularly potent question for Christians with their view of heaven and hell. To some degree, the Reformation was touched off by this issue. Indulgence sellers traversed Europe marketing the means to get a loved one’s time in Purgatory reduced. They were good at their job. There was one problem, though, according to the Reformers: they had false goods.
This week’s sermon is titled “One Flock, One Shepherd.” The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church is an ancient saying of the Church, one that is encouraging to us in times of persecution. But who would persecute the Church or Christians? Those on the list would include people of other religious persuasions, official state governments, those who profess no faith in God, and even those who share the name of Christian with those persecuted. Paul used inspiring words to teach Timothy the purpose of the Church, while Isaiah’s words give encouragement to the Church, and Jesus says what He will do.
This week’s sermon is titled “Claimed by Christ.” What does Christian baptism do? Does it save those who receive it, that is, does it guarantee a place in heaven? Is it OK to baptize infants or should only those who can understand and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ be baptized? How much water is necessary for baptism to be legitimate? These questions have reverberated through the halls of church history for centuries. Major divisions exist among Christians because of baptismal understandings. Perhaps old Father Abraham can shed some light on this touchy subject.
This week My Soul Among Lions joined us to lead worship before the sermon “Words to Live On.” When Jesus said He was the living bread sent from heaven, a firestorm of controversy erupted. He compounded matters when He added that unless a person ate His flesh and drank His blood the person had no life in Himself. Down through the centuries His words have continued to be hotly debated. At the time of the Reformation the controversy was particularly intense. No resolution could be reached, divisions occurred. Yet the words Jesus spoke are words we can live on. Jesus spoke them for good, not ill. They are words of life, words we need to hear and heed.
This week’s sermon is titled “Cooperating with God.” Human beings cannot cooperate with God in the matter of justification. Justification is all God’s work. Such is not the case with sanctification. We are continually exhorted to yield to and cooperate with God in the matter of sanctification. Mixing the truths of justification with the truths of sanctification always causes much confusion among God’s people. Justification is a once-for-all event, while sanctification begins in this life and is ongoing our whole life long. We must realize, though, in the final analysis it is God’s working in us that assures the final outcome.
This week’s sermon was given by Pastor Michael Nowling and is titled “Angry with God!” Have you ever encountered a time when nothing seemed to go the way it was supposed to? Do you remember a time when it seemed that the Lord had forgotten you? In the book of Jonah, we see an ill-fated attempt to escape God’s purposes by an extremely reluctant missionary. After Jonah sees God at work in the Ninevites, he becomes angry. Jonah forgot what the Lord had done for him. If we forget what the Lord has done for us, we will also become bitter and angry. Let us instead remember the work of the Lord and praise Him!
This week’s sermon title is “Made Righteous.” The greatest single temptation we humans face is that of making ourselves righteous. That’s what every person aspires to. It is a crippling disease which comes to us from the moment of conception! It is true that we humans can do many righteous acts. The question, however, is if we can do enough righteous acts, or, good enough righteous acts! On this Rally Day we need to rally around the righteousness God gives. We need Him to pronounce us righteous, not assert our self-righteousness. His righteousness make us part of the family of God.
This week’s sermon title is “What’s That I Hear?” Christians come in all sorts of flavors and designs! From self-proclaimed Christians to cultural Christians to fundamentalist Christians to liberal Christians to doubting Christians to presumptuous Christians to joyous Christians to disillusioned Christians to humble Christians and on and on. Not a one of those adjectives, however, guarantees that one is a genuine Christian or disqualifies one from being a genuine Christian. What makes one a genuine Christian is not visible from the outside; it is hearing the effective call of God. This is a foundational truth.
This week’s sermon is titled “The Hard One.” There is no more difficult subject to address than the reality of, yet the distinction between, common grace and special grace. It has been a point of controversy and contention for millennia. It’s a hard topic, yet it is basic to our Christian faith. If you read the Bible you will be confronted with it. While some see the doctrine of election as a stumbling block, it is meant to be a source of comfort and hope. It also is a prompt to humility, that is, making little of one’s self; and it is a prompt to praise, that is, making much of God. Yep, time for the high, hard one.
This week’s sermon was given by Pastor Chris Tawney and was titled “To the Ends of the Earth.” Throughout the Bible, there is a promise that runs like a thread throughout its pages. A promise that God is going to redeem a people for Himself. It starts in Genesis and finds its culmination in Revelation. This redemption was accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is the one who accomplished this great work of salvation, sealing the promise that “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This is the truth. This is the Gospel. If we believe this, what then should we do? Acts 1:8 has the answer.
This week’s sermon was given by Drake Williams, Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean of Tyndale Seminary in the Netherlands. The title of the sermon is “Potential or Problem?” We live in a world of problems! No matter where one turns, there is an abundance of problems. Even as Christians we find it easy to be overcome with the problems that confront us and become more than a little discouraged. In today’s gospel text Jesus encounters a man born blind. Rather than pointing to the problems in the past, He urges His disciples to see the potential in what is taking place rather than the problem. Examples on today’s mission field illustrate that God’s potential to act is often found in the problem that is before us.
This week’s sermon is titled, “It’s Real!” Do you remember the response of the Greeks in Athens when Paul told them about the resurrection of Jesus? They said he was an idle babbler! It’s a truth commonly accepted that when you’re dead, you’re dead. No one knows anyone who died, came back to life, and never died again. Well, except for Christians. Their testimony is that they know of just such an incident. It’s not made up. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s not a fabrication. It’s real! The physical resurrection of Jesus and His ascension to heaven are bedrock facts of the Christian faith.
This week’s sermon was delivered by guest preacher Kevin Noyes and was titled “The Joy of Zaccheus.” Luke’s gospel tells the story of Zaccheus – yes, that wee little man! It’s a passage that displays Jesus’ compassion, while confronting our tendency to lack compassion for those who are hard to love. The account of Zaccheus demonstrates Jesus’ commitment to reaching the lost, and how the lost turn their lives upside down to follow Jesus when they accept Him. We also see the temptation to grumble at what God is doing instead of joining in His work of making disciples. In Zaccheus we see the joy of changed hearts that rejoice in reaching the lost.
This week’s sermon is titled “Distinguishing Truth from Error.” Lots of young people dream of being a doctor or a nurse or some other worker in the field of medicine. They want to help sick people get well. Medical practitioners do so by forming a diagnosis based on medical exams, and medical tests. In a similar fashion, the Apostle John offers us diagnostics to verify truth so that we stay in fellowship with God, while avoiding spiritual errors promoted by adversaries that seek to impede our relationship to God. Let’s use these diagnostics to do self-examination to make sure nothing is obstructing our fellowship with God.
This week’s sermon title is “Tests”! Teachers and professors use tests to measure students’ learning. What student looks forward to test day – none! Usually, test days are preceded by many painful hours of preparation, times when we know we’re going to fail! So, we endure all night cramming sessions seeking to fill our brains with the data needed to do well on the test. If, in the end, one earns a good grade, then it seems as though the stress and strain was worth it all. In 1 John the apostle lays out certain tests to prove if one has fellowship with God. Those are the tests we need to pass.
This week’s sermon is titled “Here’s Why.” Two men on the road to Emmaus meet the risen Jesus but do not know it. As they walk and converse with Him, He is amazed at what they don’t know. They’d had their highest hopes crushed by the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus. They had no clue that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer. Why? To make atonement for the sins of His people. Like those two men, most folk today have little awareness of the nature and necessity of atonement. Don’t leave this world without an experiential knowledge of Christ’s atonement.
This week’s sermon is titled “Awe and Wonder.” Are you ready for some fireworks? It’s that time of year! During the course of history no one has caused more fireworks – in one sense – than Jesus Christ. The Messiah has been a point of contention from Genesis 3 forward. Our OT text indicates it is Jesus that causes the nations to rage and be in an uproar. Things are much different for the Christian. We look at Christ with awe and wonder, overwhelmed by the magnitude of who He is and what He does. We need a solid foundational understanding of the person of Christ. We hope to get that this Lord’s Day.
This week’s sermon is titled “The X Factor.” Almost every family has a story or two about recipes getting fouled up. It may have been the time baking powder was used in place of flour. What family has not had helpful children refill the salt shaker with sugar or vice versa? All such instances lead to unpleasant surprises; after all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. That helps explain why many folk have a sour taste in their mouth from regular life experiences. To rightly taste life one must not leave out the X Factor. Most folk nowadays do. With disastrous results. What is the X Factor? The Fall.
This week’s sermon is titled “The Doctrine of Man.” It’s Father’s Day. What better day to consider what God has said about man? Maybe that should be, “What God has said about humans.” Or, again, “What God has said about man/male and woman/female.” We’ll see about all that. We also will consider how it is that we bear the image of God. It is important to know that man is unique in God’s creation – fearfully and wonderfully made as Psalm 139 expresses it. If we bear the image of God and are meant to glorify Him, then we need to know how to do so. Good old Job might give us some insight on that.
This week’s sermon is titled “The Promise.” The Holy Spirit is the One who brings God’s promises to fruition. Without the Holy Spirit we have no real basis for hope. This Sunday we particularly want to consider this reality with respect to children. Speaking through Isaiah, the Lord gave a wonderful promise to His people, a promise that is only accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus famously told Nicodemus the work of the Spirit was like the wind: it blows where it wills, we hear the sound of it, yet we don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. We say, “Come Holy Spirit.”
This week’s sermon is titled “Let’s Pray.” When is it that you hear folk say, “Let’s pray”? Prayer is foundational for Christian living. All of us pray, but none of us think we pray enough or pray well enough. You know what? We’re probably right! The foundation for praying is a desire to pray. So, how does one get a desire to pray? Once we begin praying we wonder how to order our prayers. Is there a pattern or model or order we can follow to help us? Some wonder if prayer is worthwhile, does it accomplish anything? Isn’t God going to do what He wants to do anyway? Why say, “Let’s pray?”
This week’s sermon is titled “Angels and Demons.” A particularly thorny, but interesting, element of the doctrine of creation concerns angels and demons. The Bible is full of angels and demons. The vast majority of us, though, have never seen an angel or a demon. In fact, the vast majority of humans have never seen an angel or a demon. Nevertheless, we see and experience the effects of angels and demons regularly. It is important that we have a clear understanding of these created spiritual beings. Man was made a little lower than the angels, yet Christians in due time will judge the angels. Could be interesting.
Sadly, there will be no service video or audio available from Sunday, May 21 due to now resolved technical errors.
This week’s sermon title is “God Said.” How do you think the world came to be? That’s not a question we answer reflectively. Most folk (if and when they actually consider it) answer it reflexively. One says, “I’m a creationist,” while the other says, “I’m an evolutionist.” Often, neither reflects on the implications of the answer given. Today we want to give our attention to the doctrine of creation. If you’re a creationist, how do you account for the suffering, injustice, and evil in our world? If you’re an evolutionist, do you really believe all that you see came about by fortuitous happenstance?
This week’s sermon it titled “Exposing Hidden Idols in Our Lives.” The exposure of political corruption has dominated the news since the surprise elections of 2016. Coverage of political figures has reached a fever pitch, so that some in the Congress are saying newscasters are on a “witch-hunt”. Not all forms of exposure are identified in this way. In fact, we are relieved when political corruption is uncovered, just as we would be if cancer was exposed and then surgically removed from our bodies. Today we want to expose potentially hidden idols in our lives and eliminate them, so that we can truly live and glorify our God.