Pastors Mark Tiefel and Nathanael Mayhew continue the CPR series on World Religions with a study of Islam. In addition to Judaism and Christianity, Islam is the third major monotheistic religion. It had its beginning in the 600AD with Mohammed who claimed to receive a revelation from Allah (God) through the angel Gabriel. He traced the roots of Islam back to Abraham through his son Ishmael. The Muslims (followers of Islam) accept the Bible as a holy book, but believe that it has been corrupted as it is in Christianity. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity of Jesus, His crucifixion and resurrection for example. They also have no concept of original sin. Islam has five pillars and two major groups: Sunni and Shia. These two groups also have some major differences which have been the cause of much fighting between them in the Middle East and throughout the world. Listen to learn more about this fast growing religion and how you can witness to Muslims you may meet!
In this week's Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel discusses the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" - two terms that describe a growing group of people in our culture today. One of the fastst growing groups are what are refered to as religious "NONE'S" - those who say that they have no religious affiliation. But the Bible makes it very clear that God exists and that He has described Himself very clearly. So much so that those who reject the existence of God and those who say that He cannot be known are in error. It is foolish to reject the existence of God! God has clearly revealed Himself in His creation, so that they have no exuse to reject Him (Romans 1). God has written His laws on our hearts (Romans 2). This God has sent His Son into the world to save it from sin and death (John 3:17-18). When we reject this truth we bear the full judgment of our sin from a just and holy God. Jesus came to take that judgment upon Himself so that we might be saved through faith in Him.
In our Bible Study Pastors Tom Naumann and Nathanael Mayhew take us through a study of 2 Corinthians. This letter contains some of the most beautiful Gospel proclamations in all of Scripture. The emphasis is on God's strength in weakness, and Paul brings out this theme by focusing on a number of paradoxes including comfort through affliction, life through death, reconciliation through humiliation, and abundance through poverty. Our study will focus on these contrasts and encourage us to say with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Sam Rodebaugh defines and describes the word "covet" and the Biblical concept behind it. We may be familiar with the word covet from the commandments which tell us we should not covet. But many people don't feel that coveting is wrong because it doesn't affect other people. "Since it doesn't hurt anyone else, who is to say that it is wrong?" people ask or think. Coveting is a sinful desire that leads us to want and get something that God has not given to us. Coveting often leads us into other sins which are done to or against our neighbor. We have all failed in this regard, coveting the abilities or possessions of others around us. Is this an impossible command? While we have failed Jesus did not. He did not seek His own good or advancement, but our good and salvation. Through His suffering and death our debt of sin including covetousness has been paid and forgiveness is ours. Thanks be to Jesus Who has saved us from the sin of coveting and all sins we have committed!
This week we are beginning a new sub-series to our CPR series with a study on world religions. In our initial study, Pastors Mark Tiefel and Neal Radichel will discuss and explore the teaching of Judaism. They will highlight some of the main teachings of the religion and compare and contrast it with Christianity. If you have wondered about what Judaism teaches and how it is similar and different from Christianity, you won't want to miss this podcast!
Pastor Mark Tiefel defines the word "ascend" as we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus on this day. He reminds us that Jesus ascended into heaven as True Man to the right hand of the Father. He discusses the meaning of the phrase "right hand" and what the ascension of Jesus really means for us.
Pastor Nathan Pfeiffer joins Nathanael Mayhew this week to discuss the importance of the "Family Altar." "Family altar" is a phrase that is used to desribe the work of Christian instruction and worship in the home, not just in church. We will discuss the Biblical foundation for the family altar, which reveals that God has entrusted with parents the vital role of educating their children in Christian truths. These passages point out that this instruction is to permeate the life of the Christian family: when we are on the road, at home, in our discussions, when we wake up and when we go to sleep at night. It begin with parents making this an important part of their own lives, so that they can then impart it in their children's lives. In addition to the the Biblical study, we will also offer a number of devotional resources for you at the family altar. If you would like a full list of these resources, message us or email us at email@example.com. We pray that this study will assist you in the work of establishing or maintaining a family altar!
Pastor Nathanael Mayhew discusses the word "conversion" this week. The word is an important theological term which is defined as the act of turning an unbeliever into a believer. It comes from Greek and Hebrew words which literally mean to "turn around." These words are usually used to describe a physical turning around as seen in Matthew 9:22 when Jesus "turns around" to see the woman who had touched him. We would visualize a complete 180 degree turn. A person who was going one way turns around and goes back the way they had come. With this in mind, the word is also used in a spiritual sense. A sinner who is headed into sin and on their way to hell, is "turned around" or "converted" by the work of God. Peter says "Repent therefore and be converted (literally "turned around")..." This is the work of God, who turns us from sin and death, to righteousness and life through faith. The LORD uses His word to accomplsh this: "The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." Thanks be to God for His work of Conversion in our lives!
Pastor Tom Naumann joins Nathanael Mayhew on Burden and Blessing to discuss Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. They dig into the background behind the letter, including what the city of Corinth was like and how the Christian congregation there started. This background is especially helpful in understanding some of the issues that Paul deals with in this letter. The city was a huge melting pot of different kinds of people who were both idolatrous and worldly. Matters of doctrine and instruction which Paul addresses in this letter include: unity in the church, sexual immorality, Christian marriage, and worship. In addition Paul gives valuable admonition and instruction on the Lord's Supper, spiritual gifts and the truth of the resurrection. We invite you to join us to learn more about this important and very applicable letter of Paul.
In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes a look at the word environmentalism. This is a very popular topic in our society and is especially on the minds of many with the recent celebration of Earth Day on April 22. We know from the Bible that God has given mankind dominion over creation (Genesis 1-2), but does that mean that we can simply use that dominion however we want? Our study will help to answer this question by looking at the important role creation plays not just in Genesis, but in the entire Bible. Understanding this will help us to remember that it is God's creation, and so, we want to give glory to God in how we care for all that He has given us.