2009 Sermons

Divorce, Remarriage and the Law of Love01/04/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Divorce, Covenant
  • Jesus teaches that “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” What this meant in the first century helps us understand what it means for us today.

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Tormented by the Flames?01/11/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • The story of the rich man and Lazarus has often been used to ground our theology when it comes to the doctrine of Hell. This message aims to broaden our imagination about this issue by looking at this passage in the larger biblical context.

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Acting on the Truth01/18/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Discipleship, Generosity, Sacrifice
  • In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the primary point is that information we have about God doesn’t do us any good if we don’t act on it. As Kingdom people, we must remember what this means for our own generosity.

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Don't be Like the Pharisees01/25/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Discipleship, Forgiveness
  • In this section of Luke, Jesus gives four distinct teachings that on the surface seem unrelated. But when taken in context with each other, they highlight four different aspects of how we are to live in Christian community with one another. 

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Giving the Gift of Gratitude02/01/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Faith, Healing, Gratitude
  • Jesus spent much of his time healing and performing miracles, and Luke tells the account of the healing of ten lepers – and the one who came back to thank Jesus. However, there was more healing needed than simply the physical reversal of leprosy, and this story reminds us some important principles about gratitude. 

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The Kingdom is Here and Now02/08/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Politics, Sacrifice
  • When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus gave them an answer they didn’t expect, and it’s very relevant for us today. Instead of spreading Christian ideas and values through laws, politics and force, Jesus reminds us that we’re called to be the Kingdom by loving, serving and sacrificing for the people around us.

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A Sudden End and New Beginning02/15/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – End Times, Heaven, Creation Care
  • As Christians, we often give a lot of attention to passages in the Bible that refer to Jesus’ return, but often only to speculate about the end of the world. Instead, we should use these teachings to reflect on how we live here and now. One specific application of this principle is making daily decisions that honor God’s creation.

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Prayer and Patience for Justice02/22/09

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Faith, Pain & Suffering, Justice
  • The parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge is deeply rooted in the larger story of God’s faithfulness to Israel, Jesus’ re-enactment of that story, and the question of whether Jesus will find faith on earth when he returns. 

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Keep on Pushing03/01/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Faith, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare
  • When we pray, we’re using our say-so to partner with God to bring about his will on earth as it is in heaven. But it is not magic. Prayer is a labor of love. We are pushing for God’s will to be accomplished, against all that resists his will being accomplished.

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Shocking Humility and Extravagant Grace03/08/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Grace, Judgment, Humility
  • When we hear sermons, often we apply them to someone else. It is always easier to see and try to fix other people’s faults than it is our own. It is common to do this when we read Bible stories. One of the functions of Jesus’ parables is to free us from this self-serving favoritism and force us to look in the mirror. 

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Return to Innocence03/15/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Faith, Identity in Christ, Judgment
  • Jesus uses little children as examples of the attitude we are to take. The innocence of children give us a good model for trusting God, getting our identity from him and avoiding the evaluation and judgment game. 

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It's Time to Get Low03/22/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Transformation, Humility
  • Spiritually speaking, the attitude we have when we work to advance God's Kingdom is far more important than the work we actually do. If we do the "right things" but don't don’t imitate Jesus in our attitude we don't reflect the Kingdom of God the way we could. Humility, gentleness and bearing each others' burdens are basic to serving one another in Christ-like love.

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The Danger of Goodness03/29/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Heaven, Kingdom of God, Covenant
  • Jesus' encounter with the rich young man raises the question of what a person must do to get into heaven. Is it good deeds? Is selling our possessions and giving to the poor enough? No, it is embracing the love relationship with God that is extended to us through Christ.

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How to get Blessed with More Houses04/05/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Generosity, Grace
  • Jesus used the law to show us that we can’t get to heaven on the basis of our own good deeds. Once we accept this, we can enjoy the freedom to live radically and generously in the community that is the family of God.

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Good Friday 200904/10/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Repentance, Sin
  • Greg leads us in reflecting and then responding to what he calls "the central event that defines all history": the cross. You are invited to join the congregation in a responsive confession (download presentation file to read along)

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Take Off Your Grave Clothes04/12/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Evangelism, Salvation, Transformation
  • Easter is about Jesus’ resurrection and the faith of the church in that resurrection. Jesus’ claims to be God were unambiguous but didn’t always receive the same response.

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What a Surprise04/19/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Transformation, Imagination
  • This is the first message in the Animate series which focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.

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Flesh and Blood04/26/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Transformation, Imagination
  • This is the second message in the Animate series which focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.

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Holding up Your Body05/03/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Transformation, Imagination
  • This is the third message in the Animate series focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.

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Forming Me05/10/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Transformation, Imagination
  • This is the fourth message in the Animate series which focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.

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Clever Disguises05/17/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Prayer, Imagination
  • This is the fifth message in the Animate series which focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.

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What God Really Wants (It Ain't Nothin' New)05/24/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Love, Pain & Suffering, Justice
  • There is a consistent and persistent message God has been sending through both the Old and New Testaments: Love your neighbor as yourself. And everyone is your neighbor! What was recorded as law in Lev. 19 was echoed by the prophets and reiterated by Jesus in the gospels.

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Animate Wrap Up: Is it Just Me?05/31/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Transformation, Imagination
  • There were a lot of questions generated by our recent Animate series, which explored the role that imagination plays in our spiritual lives. One question that came up frequently was, “Are we just making all this up when we practice imaginative spirituality?”

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Animate Questions: Getting Life06/07/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Imagination
  • There were a lot of questions generated by our recent Animate series. This sermon answers questions about why Christians have sometimes been suspicious of the imagination, and about how we can get our “life” (worth, significance and security) from God.

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Animate: Final Questions06/14/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Imagination
  • This sermon addresses three specific questions as a follow-up to the Animate series. The first relates to the dangers of opening oneself up to the spirit realm. The second is about how we know what we sense in our imagination is from God. And the third questions whether imaginative prayer that focuses on Jesus alone is actually limiting.

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Embracing the Pain06/21/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Joy, Pain & Suffering, Transformation
  • None of us like pain. In fact, much in our world today helps us to avoid it. Scripture promises that as we follow Christ we will suffer and endure pain but that it is not without a purpose. As we persevere, we experience growth and joy and become more like Christ.

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Gatekeepers of the Royal Son06/28/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Discipleship, Evangelism
  • The disciples sometimes got in the way of people who were coming to Jesus. When this happened, Jesus had to correct the situation and go directly to the people seeking him. This happens today too when Christians and their agendas get in the way of people who simply need to be pointed to Jesus.

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Zacchaeus07/05/09

  • Speaker – Shawna Boren
     
  • Topics – Repentance, Salvation
  • Repentance and salvation are understood best in the story of someone’s life. Zacchaeus is a great example of radical repentance and a clear pronouncement of salvation by Jesus. 

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Air and Opportunity07/12/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Discipleship, Holy Spirit, Faithfulness
  • God has given us the Holy Spirit as a “deposit” and guarantee of things to come. But we are expected to wisely invest this “deposit” in the world today.

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I am a Hypocrite07/19/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Repentance, Humility, Hypocrisy
  • Jesus and his followers had very different ideas about what would happen when Jesus finally got to Jerusalem. These differences were so serious that everyone abandoned Jesus when his path took him to the cross. It may be tempting to judge Jesus’ followers as short-sighted hypocrites, but Greg challenges us with the question of whether we really would do differently under similar circumstances. 

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The Wailing God07/26/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Love, God's Will
  • When Jesus entered Jerusalem he wept as he foretold its destruction. This is important because we gain an profound awareness of how it pains God when we resist him.

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Angry Love08/02/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Relationships, Covenant, Conflict
  • It might surprise you to know that Jesus got angry enough to turn over tables! There are times when it is appropriate to boldly confront others in our community.

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Who Do You Think You Are?08/09/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Power
  • At one point in Jesus’ ministry, priests and teachers of the law questioned Jesus about his authority. They asked him by whose authority he taught the gospel and did the miracles. Rather than answering their question, Jesus returned a question.

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The Life You Always Wanted08/16/09

  • Speaker – Kevin Johnson
     
  • Topics – Disciplines, Holy Spirit, Transformation
  • Kevin Johnson shared some experiences he’s had with “strategies” for personal transformation. None of these strategies by themselves are good enough if we don’t have a basic openness to God’s leading.

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God Must Be Angry08/22/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, God's Will
  • Our guest speaker could only speak on Sunday, so Greg used the Saturday night service to host a Q&A centered around the recently debated concept that God might be behind the natural disasters in the world...as well as other questions from the congregation.

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Forgiveness Is Personal08/23/09

  • Speaker – Rob Bell
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Justice
  • Rob spoke about forgiveness and one common challenge to it—revenge. When someone hurts us and we turn to revenge, we are essentially saying that we don’t like the way God is running the universe.

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The Stone The Builders Rejected08/30/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Discipleship, Kingdom of God
  • By telling a parable Jesus prophesied that he would be rejected and killed. Nevertheless, he also claimed he would be the cornerstone for the coming Kingdom of God. This was shocking to his followers and enraged the religious leaders of the time.

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Turning Jesus Over to Caesar09/06/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Nationalism
  • Jesus was being set up by some schemers who were trying to trap Jesus. They asked him whether or not Jews should pay taxes to Caesar or not. His answer undermined the game the schemers were playing and will challenge the way we relate to our own government. 

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Growing Up Into Kingdom Adulthood09/13/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Heaven, Resurrection, Role of Women
  • Jesus was frustrating to most people who asked him theological questions. When the Sadducees challenged him, Jesus set them straight on the resurrection, the role of women, and gave a few hints about heaven, none of which they wanted to hear. 

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Praise & Celebrate09/20/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Sacrifice, Worship
  • Greg reminded us of the importance of worship, praise and celebration. We sometimes tend to collapse all three of these words together and associate it with the singing portion of a church service, but there’s much more to it that that.

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Celebrate God09/27/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Reconciliation, Worship
  • We see many examples of celebration in the Bible. By reading through these verses we can learn a lot about what celebration is and how it was done during biblical times. [Focus Scripture: Psalms 66:8]

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Seeing What God Sees10/04/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Poverty, Humility
  • When we ask the simple question, “What does the Lord require?” we get a clear answer from Scripture. There are many passages we could turn to for a response, but one of the most concise is Micah 6:8. Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

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God's Heart For The Poor10/11/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Poverty, Reconciliation, Spiritual Warfare
  • We know that we are saved by God’s grace, not our own good deeds—but God still intends that we do good deeds. In fact, God saved us so that we can be restored to right relationship with God and all of creation. This restored relationship includes the activity (good works) that God has planned for each one of us.

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To Have Or Not To Have10/18/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Generosity, Pain & Suffering, Poverty
  • Greg was careful to be clear that his challenge was primarily to those in the lower middle class of America and higher. However the principles apply to all of us: Don’t hoard the things of this world, but rather share generously with those who have less than we do.

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Stories of Poverty10/25/09

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Topics – Poverty, Reconciliation, Relationships
  • The Importance of Knowing Ernest: Sandra shares experiences and insights that have come from her family’s “unlikely” friendships with people on St. Paul’s East Side. In our movement toward the issue of poverty, it’s easy for the ‘haves’ to feel heroic for seeking to give to the ‘have-nots’. Through her relationship with Ernest, Sandra explains what can happen when we pursue relationships instead of responsibilities, or people instead of poverty.

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Compassion And The Kingdom11/01/09

  • Speaker – Efrem Smith
     
  • Topics – Faith, Kingdom of God, Poverty
  • Efrem Smith preached about how being a Christian means participating in the Kingdom of God in between the first coming of Christ and the second. He used Matthew 25 to help us grasp this.

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A Touch Of Reality11/08/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Pain & Suffering, Poverty
  • The Bible has a lot to say about poverty. Most of it refers to material poverty—which is why we are focusing on that this series—but the Bible also recognizes the poverty of isolation, loneliness and invisibility.

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Poverty and Generational Sin11/15/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Poverty, Sin, Free Will
  • Generational sin is the ongoing effect of hurtful behavior that passes on from parents to their children. Not only do the children have to deal with this sin, but God too works with us to overcome these effects of past wrong-doings on our lives.

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Getting Egypt Out11/22/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Fear, Hope, Poverty, Spiritual Warfare
  • Greg shared an image that he uses to represent how principalities and powers pollute the “air” we breathe by drawing on the impact of sins committed in the past. Norm shared his story of how he got out of living in poverty with the help of a friend who provided key opportunities.

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Everyday Is A Day Of Thanksgiving11/29/09

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Gratitude
  • For this weekend following Thanksgiving , Dwayne delivered a sermon about the basics of living a thankful lifestyle. He asked questions about what we can thank God for in the middle of difficult situations and why it’s important to practice Thanksgiving in general.

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The Fruit of Repentance12/06/09

  • Speaker – Jin Kim
     
  • Topics – Reconciliation, Repentance, Faithfulness
  • When John the Baptist was proclaiming the coming of the Messiah he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and called people to be baptized. Jin Kim connected this proclamation to faithfulness in the body of Christ and the importance of bearing fruit in the world.

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Returning To The Sacred Shhh...12/13/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Poverty, Justice, Peace
  • When we work for justice in the world, we are partnering with what God is already doing. It’s important that we seek God first, rest in God’s love, and only then can respond faithfully to the call to partner with God by fighting for justice in our communities.

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The Ghost Of Christmas12/20/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Healing, Identity in Christ, Transformation, Free Will
  • In many ways, Jesus is like the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future in Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol. However, much more than remind us of our past, Jesus has the power to transform it which allows us new freedom both in our present and our future.

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Jesus: Avatar or God?12/27/09

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Defense of Christian Faith, Evangelism
  • Our American culture seems to have grown more open to spiritual things in recent history. In general this openness is good—but there is also the danger of losing the uniqueness of what we believe as Christians—that Jesus IS God and not merely one of many ways that God is expressed in the world.

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