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.
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) Read More
Jesus often taught about the love of God, but in this passage he also says “…unless you repent, you will all perish.” This is a very unpopular passage as it is commonly understood, as most people assume Jesus is using the fear of hell to scare us into repentance. The truth is that sin really does lead to perishing, but it’s not because of God’s arbitrary wrath. Read More
Jesus didn’t water down his message for the crowds or give them just what they wanted to hear. Jesus called them (and us) to repent – to face reality and turn from living in lies that hinder our ability to participate in what God is doing in the world. God’s Kingdom happens in our lives and in our communities when we repent and line our lives up with God’s way of looking at the world and God’s ways of living. Read More
Jesus desires to be a part of every area in our lives. Following God is not a spiritual exercise or ritual that is relegated only to church. Rather, it is a relationship that consists of giving to God everything about us, and being obedient to God’s calling and direction in our lives.
Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ. It is a renunciation of living the way the world lives, with all of its lures and traps, and pledging to live a life that is solely for Christ. It is a life that is radically distinct from the ways of the world. One of the first mentions of baptism following Christ’s resurrection is found in the book of Acts (2:37-38). In this passage, the apostle Peter speaks to those who just heard the “good news” of Jesus, and tells them to: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Read More
The message of John the Baptist came into a chaotic period of history. In the middle of this chaos were the people of Israel. They did not know what their future would hold. To these people, John the Baptist proclaimed a message of repentance, an invitation to change one’s focus from the chaotic nature of circumstance to the God who was coming to bring salvation. Hope is only found in the saving actions of God, the faithful one who completes what he started. Modern life is characterized by chaos. In the midst of this chaos we need hope, solid ground on which to stand. Jesus is our only hope; he is the only consistent factor in this crazy world. Read More
The message that Simeon gives Mary has a heavy, ominous tone, as he predicted that Jesus would actually cause many to fall and that people would speak against him. This prophetic message establishes the fact that the good news of the Gospel is much more than set of encouraging thoughts or beliefs, but in fact it is offensive in nature. It offends because it challenges the lives of those who hear it to live a different way. Read More