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Easter Sermon, "Is the Resurrection Real," Mt. Hope Congregational Church, Gary Habermas Minimal Facts Argument.

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“Is The Resurrection Real?” I Corinthians 15:19-26 Easter Sunday
Introduction Chuck Colson once commented, “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.” I agree. The conviction of the Apostles is among if not the greatest testimony to the historicity of the Resurrection.
CIS: The Resurrection of Jesus is real in every definition of reality.
Transition What does it mean to be a Christian? Who are we “in Christ?” We are the living dead. We are those who have died with Christ on the Cross and been raised to newness of life i…

Palm Sunday Sermon, The Triumphal Entry, Luke 19:28-40

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“The Triumphal Entry,” Luke 19:28-40
Introduction Only those who have known the love of Jesus would ever call His entry into Jerusalem that Sunday triumphant. He entered on a young Donkey to fulfill kingly prophecy from Zechariah, yet it wasn’t a throne that He was to ascend. They hailed Him as the one who came in the name of the Lord but this was the same crowd who, by the end of the same week, cried “Crucify Him!” There wasn’t anything triumphant about this King’s entry unless you know that this King isn’t like any other king in history. Earthly Kings are served by their subjects. Jesus served up His life as a ransom for the sins of His subjects.
CIS: Jesus conquers through sacrifice. He calls us to do the same…
He conquered sin through laying down His life. His is an upside-down Kingdom... Nothing in how Jesus saves is consistent with how the world conquers. We are a part of an upside-down kingdom. Live like it! Love like it!
Exposition It was Jesus' arrival into Jerusalem and it be…

The Anointing of Jesus Sermon, John 12:1-8, April 7, 2019.

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“The Anointing of Jesus,” John 12:1-8
Introduction Fellow Congregational Pastor, Jim Harper III, recently shared this devotion from the Iona community in Scotland. “It was on the Wednesday that they called him a waster. The place smelled like the perfume department of a mall. It was as if somebody had bumped their elbow against a bottle and sent it crashing to the floor, setting off the most expensive stink bomb on earth. But it happened in a house, not a shop. And the woman who broke the bottle was no casual afternoon shopper. She was the penniless poorest of the poor, giving away the only precious thing she had. And he sat still while she poured the liquid all over his head... as unnecessary as aftershave on a full crop of hair and a bearded chin. And those who smelled it, and those who saw it, and those who remembered that he was against extravagance, called him a waster. They forgot that he was also the poorest of the poor. And they who had much and who had given him nothing, object…

Repentance Sermon - Luke 13:1-9 - Lent

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Sermon delivered Sunday March 24, 2019 at Mt. Hope Congregational Church. Audio / Video / Text.






“A Call to Repent,” Luke 13:1-9
Introduction Reinhold Niebuhr, Pastor at Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, in the early 1900’s, and later professor of theology at Union Seminary in NY, said this: “The great ethical divide is between the people who want to be pure and those who want to be responsible.” He made this statement in a televised a discussion with Dr. Thomas C. Kilgore, Jr., focusing on the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and racism in America. In the same discussion, Kilgore said something equally profound. He said, “[Circumstances] force[s] you at any extremity, at any extreme, to discover what you really live buy. Whereas most Americans have been for so long so safe and so sleepy that have no sense what they really live by. I think they may really think it to be Coca Cola.”[1]
This passage is about repentance, which is a change of mind that leads to a real change in lifestyl…

Toward a Congregational Missiology, The Congregationalist Magazine, March 2019

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This article appeared in the March Issue of The Congregationalist Magazine, published by The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, (NACCC), of which Mt. Hope Congregational Church and Pastor Chris Surber are a part.

Toward a Congregational Missiology Our way is an incarnational way. Our way is an adaptable way. Our way is a lived way. The Congregational Way is nothing if not the “life on life” incarnate visible demonstration of the truth, the way, and the life of Jesus in the world and among us. I’m convinced that our way has deeper insights into Christian missiology than others credit and perhaps even than we know of ourselves.  Faith, Freedom, Fellowship undergirds my philosophy and practice of mission.
My wife and I founded a vibrant and growing ministry in Haiti called “Supply and Multiply” which is inherently Congregational. It is rooted in cross-cultural relationships. It is essentially indigenous. It couldn’t be less denominational. I’ve been a decidedly Co…

Sermon Luke 4:1-15: Lent -1. The Temptation of Christ. Satan isn't a Metaphor - Biblical Foundations

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“The Temptation of Christ,” Luke 4:1-15
Introduction Jesus is divine and man. Jesus is mysterious and yet revealed and knowable. Jesus is many things and can be said to do and have done many more things than we can easily count or know in fullness. Among the things Jesus is and does is that He is the restorative right King who takes back the fraudulent authority given over to Satan by Adam through his original sin. 
CIS: Jesus Restores Kingdoms Seized by Fraud. His offerings are always false.
In his commentary on Luke, the early church father, Cyril of Alexandria stated: