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Sermon Audio

Identity in Christ

Identity in Christ

February 2019 - April 2019
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Apr 07, 2019
Hits: 129
50 mins 19 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - In many of Paul’s epistles, he breaks the letter down into two parts – the first, focuses on doctrine, and the second, focuses on practice. He seems to indicate that knowing should lead to doing. In the context of Ephesians, the revealed mystery of the church should have practical ramifications for our lives. If God is uniting Jews and Gentiles under Christ and forming a new entity called the church, then how are we supposed walk or conduct ourselves? That is the driving question Paul is addressing in Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul explains that the limbs of the body need to be united in the work of the ministry, the supporting ligaments of Bible teachers need to train believers to serve and use their gifts, and the head of the body, Christ directs us all through his word. And as this takes place believers live out their identity and grow in maturity. May the Lord help us to pursue unity in the church.
Pastor Jon Kopp
Sun, Mar 31, 2019
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56 mins 8 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - “One of the best ways to discover a Christian's chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them. We all pray about what concerns us, and are evidently not concerned about matters we do not include in our prayers. Prayer expresses desire.” (John Stott) In today’s text, we find that modeled for us in Paul’s second prayer of the book. He has taken the first two chapters to explain the magnitude and wonder of the gospel work to unite in Christ both Jews and Gentiles to be a people where His Spirit will dwell. (Eph. 2:22) Now, he turns from preaching to prayer, and he prays that God’s wonderful plan in the gospel would not just be heard and known and believed, but also experienced. Paul longs for gospel truth to come alive in the hearts of God’s people, so he bows His knees in prayer to His Father for the supernatural power that alone can bring truth to life. May we follow his example as we hear and encounter the Word this weekend.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Mar 24, 2019
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48 mins 8 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Although arrested on Jewish charges and shackled by Roman authorities, Paul had a different perspective on his imprisonment. He was a prisoner because of Christ Jesus for the sake of the Gentiles. His special mission was to preach the gospel and make known the mystery of God’s plan, the church. The mystery was something that in ages past was hidden in God, and was unable to be unraveled or understood by human ingenuity or study. But now, through the work of Christ, the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men, not just one nation. Both Jews and Gentiles could have Christ in them, the hope of glory. The mystery was not that Gentiles could be saved, but rather that they could be united with Jews in one new body, the church. Paul served as a minister of Christ to make the church known and thereby display God’s manifold wisdom. May the wisdom of God in the church fill our hearts with encouragement and praise together.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
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49 mins 41 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Racial tension is not a recent phenomenon in human history. In fact, the first century had difficulty navigating the mutual animosity between Jews and Gentiles. Centuries of hostility had created such a gulf between the two people groups that peaceful coexistence between them seemed like a stretch and loving unity seemed impossible. But that’s where Christ comes in. The reconciling work of Jesus brings people to God and it brings people together such that a kingdom, a family, and a living temple are formed out of people from every tribe and nation for His glory. The church is God’s new creation displaying the miraculous way the cross kills hostility and brings unity. So may the Lord make us one in Christ and cause our hearts to well up with thanksgiving for the way he sets people at peace.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Mar 10, 2019
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51 mins 18 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Have you ever seen before and after pictures? Maybe with a home remodel, dental work, a new hairstyle, or some diet – the contrast is somewhat shocking and the change is evident. As we look into the second chapter of Ephesians, it is difficult to conger up a set of sharper contrasts than those Paul puts forth in Ephesians 2:1-10. He shows the before and after of our spiritual lives – from death to life, from the sentence of God’s wrath to an experience of overflowing love, from a life ruled by various forces of evil to a life sustained by the grace of God. Paul wants believers to understand their new identity in Christ and how the gracious application of resurrection power makes all the difference.
Sun, Mar 03, 2019
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41 mins 58 secs
Speaker: Josh MacAvoy - Ephesians 1 is a densely packed chapter, full of deep theology (or "what we know about God"). In just 12 verse, Paul covers matters of the trinity, spiritual adoption, redemption through Christ Jesus, the inheritance of the saints, and the Holy Spirit given to guarantee God's promise. There is so much to sentence in the Bible. And right after all that teaching, Paul explains how he has been praying. He asks for the Holy Spirit to help Christians apply all of that knowledge to their everyday living. Paul knew that accurate knowledge was essential, but it never should stay as information alone. It needs to be acted on. He prays that the Ephesian believers experience increased spiritual discernment through the Holy Spirit and be more skillful at applying God's Word to their everyday situation.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Feb 24, 2019
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49 mins
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - When it came to missionary endeavors, Paul was strategic, persistent, and prayerful. He had target locations and intentional objectives in his ministry of the gospel. The apostle focused on cities - epicenters of culture and influence. His pattern indicates that when the gospel takes root in places of commerce, education, and politics, it eventually spreads to the surrounding areas. Cities are not the only places for missionary work, but they are strategic places. Roland Allan, a missiologist and author of Missionary Methods, suggests that “All the cities or towns in which Paul planted churches were centers of Roman administration, Greek civilization, Jewish influence, or some commercial importance." That was true of Athens, Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus. And as we consider city ministry today, may God help us understand how to reach our context and see the Word increase and prevail mightily in urban populations to the praise of his glory.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Feb 17, 2019
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39 mins 56 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The Holy Spirit imparts spiritual blessings to believers, marking them as belonging to God and assuring them of their future with him. That is what we discover in Ephesians 1:11-14, the final segment in Paul’s overflowing Trinitarian praise. He has exalted the Father as the planner and initiator of redemption. He has praised the Son as the central figure and securer of redemption. And now, Paul highlights the Holy Spirit as the agent who bestows the blessings of redemption and seals believers to final day of redemption. May all our praise be directed to God for his glorious grace in salvation.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Feb 10, 2019
Hits: 492
50 mins 45 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Ephesians 1 is a run-on sentence of overflowing trinitarian praise. The Father is praised for his electing work in salvation. The Son is praised for his redeeming work in salvation, and the Spirit is praised for his sealing work in salvation. Paul is in awe and wonder at the glorious grace of God. He is captivated and confounded as he considers the spiritual blessings of the past, present and future. In Ephesians 1:7-10, the focus of the text is on the glorious work of the Son. He has redeemed enslaved sinners. He has forgiven all our transgressions. And he is uniting all things in heaven and on earth to the praise of his glory. May the Lord give us the emotional response of praise in response to the abundant outpouring of his grace.
Pastor Lukus Counterman
Sun, Feb 03, 2019
Hits: 584
59 mins 52 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The work of the Father in the salvation of sinners should bring us to points of praise. Though human vocabulary is inadequate in its expression of God’s immeasurable and infinite work, Paul identifies three things that we should thank God for – election, predestination, and spiritual blessing. The tone of the opening chapter of Ephesians is one of adoration, thanksgiving, and praise for God’s glorious grace. May our hearts be consumed with the praise because sinners who deserve only wrath become objects of God’s love. Soli Deo Gloria