(Re)claiming our Spiritual Birthright as Co-heirs with Christ

In continuation of the “Growth in Christ” series, Pastor Josh Engelhardt lead us through many scriptures referring to and describing the birth right of the firstborn son in the Old Testament, and then in the New Testament, where we learn that we, through God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus, are now heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ!  We receive a double share of the blessings and inheritance the Lord has for us and we get to walk in the authority of and covenant relationship with Him.  The questions we face are these: Am I walking in the way of the first born? Where in my life am I living in less than the double portion the Lord gave me?  If the answer is: yes, I live in less, what can I do about it?

Scripture References:
Genesis 25:29-34
Deuteronomy 21:15-17
Isaiah 40:1-2
Isaiah 61:6-7
Zechariah 9:11-12
Colossians 1:15-22
Titus 3:4
Acts 20:32
Romans 8: 16-17, 37

(Re)aligning Our Thinking with the Truth of God's Grace

Pastor Josh continued with the theme of growing in Christ by emphasizing that it is by God’s grace, not by our works, that we are saved. Works are not what define us in the Lord. Jesus is our reference point.
By trying to prove our worth based on what we do, we build a pattern that can overwhelm our thoughts, allowing room in our thinking for things that are not true. This steals our spiritual birthright. In response, we often feel compelled to try to “do good” to make up for the bad we do, instead of apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Ultimately, we change not by trying hard, but as a result of receiving and walking in God’s grace.

Eph 2:5. “We were once dead in the world, but now by grace are saved through faith.”  
Christ, the new covenant, fulfilled and replaced the law and the old covenant, making possible salvation to all by God’s grace.  
Acts 15: 11 “…We believe that through the grace of Christ we shall be saved even as they.”  (Jews and Gentiles alike)
Acts 15:24 “…We have heard that certain men have disturbed you, upsetting your soul by saying you must be circumcised and keep the law; we have never commanded these things!” Works puts the attention on self, leaving God out of the equation.

Place of Worship or Den of Thieves? Correcting a Faulty Self Image with the Truth of God's

How are patterns in our thinking influencing and shaping our hearts and minds? Are we glorifying God in that process? Or, are we being robbed, from who God truly made us to be? This sermon draws the parallel between the physical temple in Jesus’ time and how we (our bodies/beings) are temples for the Holy Spirit now. Jesus was indignant and reacted very strongly to the money changers and those looking to make a profit by selling doves to those who came to the temple to worship and offer a sacrifice/offering to God. How does He feel about the robbery that happens in our own thinking, which can lead us to adopt a fractured and false self-image?

Fighting Through The Rebuild

This morning, Pastor Josh Engelhardt shares from the book and life of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah and his work to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem provides a vivid image of what our lives and hearts are like: to fight and work hard to follow the Lord’s instructions for us, even though the enemy wants to discourage and destroy us.  Let this be our hope: the work on the wall continued, which was proof that God frustrated the plans of the enemy!

 Nehemiah 1-4
Nehemiah 4:14b
John 10:7

"Real"ationship : Patterns in the Psalms for Navigating Adversity

The Book of Psalms contains beautiful poetry written thousands of years ago, and yet it is a useful guide for how to navigate the challenges of life today. The Psalms describe our human condition so well that they can be excellent prayers.  It is the place to go when you are hurting. Pastor Josh Engelhardt teaches from Psalms 142 and Psalms 57, written by King David at a time when his enemies sought to take his life.  During his difficult circumstances, King David turned to God for help, and he found refuge and safety in the wings of a faithful, kind, and powerful God.  

Unless You Become Like a Child

When the disciples asked Jesus, “Who, then, is the greatest in the Kingdom?” Jesus’ response was to call over a little child and explain that unless we become like little children, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What does it mean to become like a child? Pastor Josh Engelhardt explains the childlike qualities Jesus is looking for in our hearts. Can we still be humble, trusting, playful, eager, imaginative, and utterly dependent on the God who invites us to call Him Abba, “Daddy”? 

Eyes on the Lord, Not on the Obstacles

Josh Engelhardt explores chapters 13 and 14 from the book of Numbers: The Lord promised the Israelites a land of abundance. However, the people (including 10 out of the 12 spies) let their natural way of thinking (it's impossible; we will be eaten alive) overshadow the reality of God's provision and miracles. Fighting (thinking about) my obstacles keeps my eyes on my problems; how would my perspective change if I focus on the Lord?