Sermons by John Hanneman
Temple of Doom or Glory?
Ephesians 2:13-22 Despite the challenges that the church has faced over the centuries, it has survived since its inception on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all those who became followers of Jesus. Today there are many challenges that face churches and church leaders. Even though people still seek a spiritual life, they are becoming disillusioned with the church and organized religion. So how can the church overcome these difficulties and continue to be what God intended?
Ring Out, Ring In
Isaiah 43:18-19 Advent is a season of God doing new things. Jesus came, Jesus will come, and also Jesus comes to us in the present bring new life. As we enter into a new year we can reflect/pray to be aware of the new things that God might do.
Jeremiah: The Prophet and His Message
Jeremiah is not a book we usually turn to for our Bible reading even though one of the verses we quote and hear quoted often is Jer. 29.11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” However, not only is Jeremiah filled with beautiful verse and amazing metaphors, but there is also much that we can learn from Jeremiah’s painful life and his hard message to the people of Judah. We will explore these two themes on Sunday.
In Roman mythology Janus is the god of “beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings.” (Wikipedia) He is imaged as having two faces, one face looking to the past and one to the future. The ending of 2020 and the beginning of a new year provides an excellent time to pause and reflect, not only looking back and forward, but also looking within and around. Hopefully this Sunday will provide a space to do just that. Since God is in everything, we will pray for the vision to see through the events of our lives and find the God that is with us personally and who loves us beyond what we can imagine. I look forward to “seeing” you all!! John
Does Community Matter?
As humans, we long for community, a place of belonging and connectedness. However, these longings are being eroded by a culture that does not make time or create space for deeper relationships. Instead of togetherness there is an increasing sense of isolation and loneliness. The influences of the culture seep into the church. Authentic spiritual community is more difficult to find. Our souls suffer and God’s presence in the world is diminished. This Sunday we conclude the summer series by exploring the question, Does Community Matter?
Christ and New Creation
Col 1:15-20 Your desire for God and your capacity to connect with God as a human soul is the essence of who you are. And the place where that desire is met is in a person who makes visible and tangible the invisible and intangible God. God becomes human flesh in Jesus. “The Incarnation brings the world (God’s) presence. It is a presence so complete that it overshadows every presence before it.” (Carlos Caretto). If God isn’t like Jesus, he ought to be.
Devoted to the Word
2 Tim 3:14 – 4:4 “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deut 8:3 ESV) Do you realize that there is something more important to our lives than food? The Word of God is our daily bread that nourishes our soul. Through the Scriptures we feed on God’s revealed truths that are indispensable for spiritual life and growth. As we continue our four-week series on key family values this week we turn our attention to the importance of God’s Word and how that shapes who we are at Peninsula Bible Church.
True Freedom: Free to Care
Gal 6:1-10 A freedom that asserts independence and self-sufficiency is not freedom at all. Rather it results in a life turned inward on self that becomes empty. Christ has set us free from a self-focused life (law) to a sacrificial life of loving service towards others (grace). The ability to care for others through the work of the Spirit is the highest form of freedom, to which we have been called (#free2live). As we conclude our studies in Galatians this week, we will examine what love looks like in action, especially in the community of faith.
The Appeal for Freedom: A Pastor’s Heart
Gal 4:8-20 Our deepest desire is to be transformed into the image of Christ rather than becoming a cardboard cutout of religious perfection. We don’t want to just talk about freedom. #free2live.
The Key to Freedom: Being the Beloved
Gal 4:1-7 The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 portrays God as a father who shows extravagant love to his two sons and desires to have an adult relationship with them, meaning a relationship based on total acceptance, free of judgment, fear, and control. Believe it or not this is the relationship that God wants to have with each of us. God wants us not only to know his love but to be the beloved, even as his Son. Galatians is a book that talks about gospel freedom as opposed to living under law. Christ sets us free from a rule-keeping, performance-based relationship with God where we try through our own efforts to gain his approval and love. But it is hard to break away from living as a slave to law. The key to the free life is knowing in our hearts, not just in our minds, that we are beloved daughters and sons of the Father. This incredible relationship comes as a total gift. Jesus redeems us from the law and the Holy Spirit allows us to address God as “Abba.” In preparation for our study this week I would encourage you to read Luke 15 and Galatians 3:25-4:7 and think through how you would describe your relationship with God.
The Struggle for Freedom
Gal 2:1-13 Jesus ushered in a new era for the people of God, one where we are set free from rule-keeping and empowered by the Spirit to live a transformed life. But the free life is not easy to maintain. There are many factors that pull us back into slavery under the law. We can know intellectually that we are a new creation but the reality of our lives is often different. Freedom goes against our natural inclinations and default mechanisms. If we want the free life we are in for a battle. This week we continue the journey from law to freedom by looking at the apostle Paul and his battle for freedom against the early church leaders. We realize that if Paul had not taken such a firm stand on the gospel of freedom that was revealed to him by God the Christian life would still be defined by rules. In preparation for this week I would encourage you to read Galatians 1:11-2:14 and think about the question, why is it hard for you to live in freedom? You might even want to post a response to #free2livepbcc before Sunday.
Journey from Law to Freedom: Introduction to Galatians
Gal 1:6-9 Many people outside the church have a negative perception of organized religion. And many others who have attended church deal with negative experiences. Church is often viewed as an oppressive system of do’s and don’ts where people keep track of your progress. Tragically, people live with a distorted picture of God. In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul dispels the myth of a rule-keeping God and calls us to life and freedom. As Paul explains the gospel through the lens of Israel’s story, we get a clear picture of God and his love for us. Christ sets us free from the bondage of law, and the Spirit empowers us so that we can become the holy and loving people of God. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But living this out isn’t always easy. This Sunday we are going embark on a journey from law to freedom. Plus, since Paul’s explanation of the gospel centers on Israel’s story and the “seed” of Abraham, we will have two evening forums to allow more in depth discussions: July 16 – Israel and the Church August 6 – Understanding Islam (Both forums will be from 7:00-8:30pm) Our hope is that God would open our minds and hearts to a deeper understanding of the gospel and a renewed relationship with God. Indeed, Jesus has set us #free2live. Bring your friends. This is exciting stuff!