Sermons by Pastor Don Strand

Upstairs, Downstairs

Genesis 1:1, 2:1
The One Big Idea: Creation is a two-state reality in covenant relationship with its creator as his temple kingdom.
1. Genesis 1:1 says all things, seen and unseen, were created by God out of nothing when time began.
2. Jesus Christ is present always and everywhere in the Bible’s redemptive story.
3. God’s plan for a spiritual-physical temple for his children will be complete when Jesus returns and unites heaven and earth forever.
Key words:
Cosmogony: A theory of the origin of the universe.
Aramaic: A Semitic language spoken in Israel since the 6th century BC.
Targum: Aramaic translation of the Old Testament.

Only the Lowly

Luke 2:8-20
The One Big idea: God’s promise of true peace is reserved for those who are lowly in spirit and brokenhearted.
1. The announcement of the birth of Jesus reveals the beginning of God’s work in history to reunite heaven and earth.
2. The angels unique message is of a Savior who will restore God’s image in us, reconcile us to Him, and bring us a true and lasting peace.
3. The promise of peace in all circumstances is for everyone who has received God’s gracious gift of faith in Christ.

On That Day

Genesis 2:16-17
The one big idea: The immeasurable, unimaginable gain of life in Christ is best seen in the light of Adam’s tragic loss.
1. God created to display the glory of his eternal and infinite power, wisdom and goodness to his creatures destined to live in his presence forever.
2. Man was created to be a prophet, priest, and king in the physical realm of God’s eternal combines kingdom.
3. Only God can reverse the damage to our spirit caused by Adam’s sin.

We find the greatest joy in our re-creation when we understand the purpose of our creation.

Sing a New Song

A Theology of Songs and Singing
The one big idea: God has the sole authority to determine how he will be worshiped and his guidelines bring about our deepest satisfaction and his highest glory.
1. Singing strengthens us in trial and expresses our joy in victory as God molds us to conform to the image of Christ.
2. The height of our praise depends on the depth of our theology.
3. We sing for our good. We sing because we have a song. We sing to build faith in others, and we sing to be like God.

Dominions Conquered: The New Testament Reality

The one big idea: At the cross Jesus crushed the rebellion and now reigns from heaven to bring glory to his Father through the Spirit empowered work of his people to bring all nations into his kingdom to reign with him forever.
1. The baptism of Jesus put the powers of darkness on notice that God had come down to take back what was rightfully his.
2. Jesus began his destruction of the gates of hell and setting the captives free with Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God.
3. The cross was the beginning of an unstoppable march across the known world that will result in a global Eden just as God planned.

Dominions Assigned: The Old Testament Reality

Psalm 82, Deuteronomy 32:7-9
One Big Idea: Before time began, the Triune God created a heavenly host to join with mankind in stewarding and perfecting a creation that would glorify God as they enjoyed him forever. Sadly, some rebelled.
1. God has given created spiritual beings authority to act in our physical world to accomplish his immediate and long term will.
2. Man’s rejection of God brought God’s rejection of man. Lesser gods were given dominion but the redeeming grace of Yahweh would win in the end.
3. It is necessary to recognize the difference in worldview if we are to see the deeper truths of the Bible.

Absolute Apostasy Arrives

Judges 19-21
The One Big Idea: God’s law must be the governing standard for Christians regardless of what may seem right in our own eyes.
1. A Pagan Morality (Judges 19:1-28)
The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties but right through every human heart.
2. A Prideful Problem (Judges 19:30-20:48)
A Christian cannot survive apart from the preaching and teaching of God’s word, corporate worship, and the confirming sacraments of his promises.
3. A Pragmatic Solution (Judges 21:1-23)
The grace of God in Christ to dwell with his people in spite of our sin is the greatest of all miracles.

A Destiny Fulfilled

Judges 16:1-31
The one big idea: God accomplished his predetermined plans in and through a fallen creation to display his glory to all creation.
Destiny Declared
While we may not always understand the means God uses to accomplish his will, we can be certain that the end will be perfect.
Destiny Decreed
God calls us out of the world and makes us different and different can be lonely.
Destiny Delivered
God will never abandon me because he always remembers his promise to me.