No Hell for Those in Christ Jesus

Text: Romans 8:1-11
Pastor Curt Stapleton

Following Paul’s treatment of his brutal struggle with sin in chapter 7, we turn now to the free gift of the gospel in chapter 8. There is no condemnation, no hell, but only for those who are in Christ, who are in relationship with the one who suffered hell for us as the propitiation for our sin.

The Christian’s Fight

Text: Romans 7
Pastor Curt Stapleton

The struggle that a believer faces is different than that of the unbeliever. As Luther reminds us, the Christian is simultaneously a sinner and saint along the road of sanctification. The Law of God continues to convict us of sin which drives us more deeply into the covenant love of God as we long to grow in grace, even as we look forward to our future glorification when the temptation to sin will be entirely vanquished.

Proper Swearing

Text: Exodus 20:1-21, Deuteronomy 10:20
Pastor Curt Stapleton

The epistle of James warns us our tongues can be used powerfully to cause damage, so it’s good to use caution in our speech. Nonetheless, there are appropriate settings for the Christian to use lawful vows and oaths, in God’s name alone and inviting His presence and power.

Slaves, We Are

Text: Romans 6:15-23
Pastor Curt Stapleton

Bob Dylan famously sang “You gotta serve somebody….” Apart from Christ, we once were slaves to sin. In the freedom from sin that comes by grace through faith in Christ, we are now commanded to present ourselves into a new slavery to righteousness, one that leads to our sanctification and brings glory to God.

The Purpose of Grace

Text: Romans 5:20-6:14
Pastor Curt Stapleton

As the Christian enjoys the grace of repentance, they will develop an increasing intolerance of and distaste for sin. The purpose of God’s grace is to transform us to look like Jesus and so carry out his commission for us. Be encouraged in your struggle against sin as evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in you.

The Free Gift of Righteousness

Text: Romans 5:12-21
Pastor Curt Stapleton

Have you ever heard of a deal that you thought was too good to be true? Nonetheless, in the gospel, that’s exactly what we receive: the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account, and our sin to His. This free gift of justification serves as the motivation for the reign of grace in our lives as we seek to live for Christ.

The People of God

Text: Romans 5:1-11
Pastor Curt Stapleton

We turn our focus now from justification to sanctification. Having been justified through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone, we now have the certain hope of growing in sanctification through the gift of the Holy Spirit. On this lifelong journey, it’s always good to remember what we once were, where we came from and how undeserving we are of this great gift of salvation.

The God Who Guarantees

Text: Romans 4:13-25
Pastor Curt Stapleton

According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, justification is an act of God’s grace. Beginning way back in Genesis with the story of Abraham, up through all of Abraham’s offspring, which includes the church today, God’s righteousness has always been granted by faith, as a gift of grace, through the work of Jesus. It is an alien righteousness applied to us and guaranteed by the God who gives life to the dead and did not spare his own Son on our behalf.

Believers are Justified by God

Text: Romans 4:1-12
Pastor Curt Stapleton

Our text provides a clear explanation of what happens when you become a Christian. We must first understand the ideas of our ungodliness and just condemnation. Against that backdrop, the simple truth of the gospel is that believers throughout all of redemptive history are justified by faith in Christ apart from ceremonies or keeping the Law. In God’s great mercy, Christ’s perfect righteousness is applied to us.

A Song of Creation

Text: Psalm 104
Dr. Peter Green

Today’s text is a poetic reflection on Genesis 1, reminding us that our creator God is not a remote, detached deist watchmaker who is sitting back and watching his creation unfold. Rather, he is intimately and actively involved in his creation, abundantly providing for it and ultimately protecting and purifying it. Our appropriate response is doxology!