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True Fellowship

Scott Axtmann
April 8, 2018

In this opening message of the 1John series Scott gives some general introduction about the author and the purpose of the letter written to the churches. There is discussion of what the word “fellowship” really means theologically and how this deep fellowship is what God desires for all of us. In typical John fashion the letter gets very challenging particularly to those who think they are Christian but are not. The authenticity test begins in chapter one by communicating that words are cheap. We can say we believe. We say we walk in the light. We can claim to believe Jesus. But what really determines our authenticity is how we relate to sin. There is a strong exhortation at the end to hate sin and a wonderful promise of what happens when we walk in repentance. We are cleansed and spiritual life abounds!


Obedience

Scott Axtmann
April 15, 2018

This message starts out talking about the huge heart of affectionate fatherly love John had for the people. The balance of being intolerant toward all sin and yet realizing there is grace when we do sin is discussed. The bulk of the message is about obedience as one of the great authenticity tests. When we obey the commands of God, especially in secret when no one but God sees, it is evidence that we are genuine in our relationship with Christ. To disregard the commands of God is evidence that we are perhaps not yet truly converted. The message is aimed at deepening the assurance of the authentic believer and awakening the person with false assurance to their desperate need to be born again.


A New Kind of Love

Scott Axtmann
April 22, 2018

In the first part of the message the difference between the old command and new command to love is discussed. The command to love takes on a fresh deeper understanding since the dawn of Christ! Pastor Scott also talks about the difference between human love and God’s love throughout the message. Human love is not enough. The mark of being an authentic Christian is that we possess supernatural Spirit-empowered love for all people. The verses looked at also give us yet another authenticity test. If we hate then we are not yet born again. But when fillled with God’s love we will find ourselves very naturally and almost effortlessly living out the commands of God.


Overcome

Nathan Pracht
April 29, 2018

A natural result of the decision to say 'Yes' to following Jesus is that we are also saying 'No' to Satan, the world & our flesh.  Sadly, we can often forget this truth and the fact that we've been pulled from the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God.  In this sermon on I John 2:12-14, we look at John's promise to the believers that they have overcome the evil one.  We are no longer helpless in our sin to temptation and deception, Jesus has pulled us out by his sacrifice and given us the power to overcome the lies and destruction of Satan.


Satisfied

Sam Jean-Baptiste
May 6, 2018

In this message, we look at John's warning about loving the world in 1 John 2:15-17. First, we look at the various uses of the Greek word for the world, kosmos. Next, special attention is paid to the emptiness that results from pursuing the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. Finally, we see that abiding in God is the ultimate remedy of a wandering heart. Christians may seek to drink deeply from these "wells," but they will find themselves unsatisfied until they find their fulfillment in the true Living Water, our Lord Jesus Christ.


Abide

Scott Axtmann
May 15, 2018

As Christians, there are countless movements that seek to influence us to reduce Jesus to something of a mere man or an angel at best. This spirit of antichrist often comes packaged in charm, in winsomeness, in intellectual sophistication, in beauty and compelling persuasiveness. In these verses (1 John 2:18-29) John is writing to the believers so they are not deceived by these forces. He warns them. He encourages them. He exhorts them and he gives them a motivation to live with eternity in view. This message is specifically for the genuine Christian born of God with the aim of protecting them from the very real threat of drifting away into unhealthy movements. In these last days we must be discerning and we must make every effort to abide in Christ. We cannot allow ourselves to become lazy or shoddy in our worship. We must excel in repentance, prayer and the Word if we are going to stand firm against the powerful currents trying to sweep us away. Everything we need to overcome is within us.


Children of God

Scott Axtmann
May 20, 2018

There’s nothing more wondrous than the love of God and this message amplifies the idea. Not only does God love us but He has adopted us into His family and made us children of God. We are the apple of His eye and God has set His affection upon us. The message also gives us a glimpse of the future for the children of God in all of its wonder to know and enjoy God for eternity. This is a sermon designed to increase the joy of those who are in Christ!


Don't Be Fooled

Scott Axtmann
June 3, 2018

It has become an epidemic widespread problem that many people who profess to be Catholic or Protestant or Evangelical have never truly been born of God. They can be found in both dead churches and churches that are alive. Being without God’s Spirit power these professing Christians, naturally, make a regular practice of sinning. They disregard many of the clear commands of God in Scripture and yet claim to know and love Jesus. Suffice to say, it’s confusing. The danger of this massive construct of pseudo Christianity is that it normalizes sin inside the church so that those who are authentic can be enticed into thinking sin is okay. Pastor Scott expounds on 1 John 3:4-10 which is a strong protective fatherly call to the saints to not be fooled by pseudo Christians. Don’t follow them. Don’t listen to their counsel. Don’t adopt their theology. We must be discerning and selective in who we imitate. 


Anger and Abide

John Michaelson
June 10, 2018

In 1 John 3:11-15 we read the apostle John’s instruction not be like Cain who was full of rage and jealousy, which led to murder. Certainly Cain’s heart was evil as he raged against his brother and God... but is anger towards God always wrong? Do we have the right to be angry with God? How should we deal with that anger? We also look at the implications that go along with John’s frequent use of the word “abide.”


Love is a Verb

Scott Axtmann
June 24, 2018

From 1 John 3:16-18 this message speaks of the wonder of God's love for us demonstrated in the sacrificial death of Jesus. When this love is made real to us it has a way of deeply affecting our hearts and moving us in practical ways to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. The message is a wonderful reminder of the otherworldly love packed into the act of Christ giving his life.


Cloud of Condemnation

Scott Axtmann
July 1, 2018

To be uncertain about our standing before God is an awful thing and yet countless Christians struggle to feel deeply assured in their relationship with God. The source of this condemnation may be from the enemy or from ourselves, from negative people or, in some cases, God (Psalm 32). Whatever the source of the cloud of condemnation it is important to find freedom from it or else it will inevitably lead to all kinds of trouble. The mistake many people make is trying to figure out why there’s a cloud over them without God’s help. Pastor Scott brings hope from 1 John 3:19-22 that says God knows everything and God is greater than our heart. God can lead us out of condemnation and into the place of assurance. He searches the heart and extracts the poison of wrong thinking and leads us into green pastures. 


Caring for the Incarnation

John Michaelson
July 15, 2018

In 1 John 4:1-6 the apostle John warns the leaders of the church not to believe every “spirit” that comes into their community claiming to hear from God. For many “false prophets” are in the world.  By looking back to chapter one, we re-examine what is the context of this letter and how it’s related to the warning in chapter four specifically relating to those who are denying the incarnation of Jesus. Why is the apostle so vigilant about fighting for this tenet of the faith? Because believing God came in the flesh is not just a doctrine that defines what Christians ought to believe, but it’s essential to who we are and how we are able to relate to God today.  We also examine what it means to us that “he who is in us is greater than than he who is in the world.” While we are to watch out for the enemy’s schemes, we need not fear him.


Strong Love

Scott Axtmann
July 22, 2018

Most Christians know that love is important and should be the distinguishing feature of the Christian life. The problem is living out the fullness of this love. Christians can be unloving, unforgiving, petty, competitive, rude, selfish, passive aggressive, bitter and so on. Many Christians love until they are wronged, hurt or offended in some way. They have a fragile love easily quenched. What is the secret to having a strong love that isn’t shaken by the wrongs done to us? How can we live out the teachings of Jesus to love our enemies and do good to those who spitefully use us? Scott expounds on 1John4:7-11 and explores the importance of cultivating a change of mind in order to love like Christ. There are some ideas communicated about the sovereignty of God that, if understood, could revolutionize the whole way we respond to mistreatment against us. 


Blessed Assurance

Scott Axtmann
July 29, 2018

This message is very specifically designed for the person who is an authentic Christian but struggles to enjoy assurance of salvation. This doubt of being accepted is usually rooted in feelings of unworthiness, an aware of inward sin and a disposition of insecurity. Pastor Scott takes us through the last section in 1John 4 and points out the marks of divine love in the true Christian to help those doubting to recognize that they really do belong to God.


Victorious

Scott Axtmann
August 8, 2018

So many Christians live a defeated life. Sometimes they hide their defeat really well but secretly or inwardly they struggle with various addictions or bondages. Sin crouches at our door and wants to control us but God provides everything we need for victory. Pastor Scott unpacks 1John 5:1-5 and specifically focuses in on the idea of God’s commands not being burdensome. With human effort alone we will be crushed by sin and overwhelmed by the daunting high standard of God’s holiness. But through faith we can be victorious! Scott gives some clarity in the last half of the message on what it actually means to have faith. This sermon is for those who desperately want to live a life of victory but struggle to overcome sin. There is hope. 


Our Story is His

John Michaelson
August 12, 2018

While good doctrine and apologetics are vital in our walk with Christ, we must not underestimate the great power of sharing our personal testimonies or “stories” of how God has rescued us from sin and death. In this message we look at how and why we share our stories — to remind us to be thankful, to build our faith, and to offer those who do not believe in the gospel of Jesus a tangible example and reason to believe. Ultimately, the heart of this passage is focused on something better. While our stories may be good and compelling, they are all founded upon the greatest story: God the Father’s testimony about the Son.


Confidence in Prayer

Scott Axtmann
August 19, 2018

Prayer is a great struggle for many Christians in this generation. Some are so discouraged about prayer that they have drifted into almost complete prayerlessness. In light of what God promises for those who pray, it is shocking that Christians pray so little. 1 John 5:14-15 tell us that whatever we pray for in God’s will will be done. God answers the prayers of his children! If prayer really works, and the promises to those who pray are so abundant, then why do so few Christians have a strong, vibrant, effective prayer life? This message addresses some of the underlying reasons that  prayer has become so lame for many.

 


Praying for Others

Scott Axtmann
September 2, 2018

In this generation it is quite common for Christians to struggle intensely with sin. Many are losing the battle in their private lives or in their marriages. For those who are healthy and strong it’s hard not to notice the struggles of brothers and sisters in Christ. What can be done? In this message out of 1 John 5:16-17 Pastor Scott sets forth a clear call to earnest intercession. The promise from God is that if we pray for our struggling brothers God will release life to them! Prayer works! There’s also some side discussion in this message about the very difficult phrase found in the text “sin leading to death”. Toward the end there are some specific takeaways for struggling believers, for those persisting in sin and for those who are strong and want to make a difference in the lives of others. 


Staying Strong

John Michaelson
September 9, 2018

According to the Apostle John, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” In this message, we take a look at some of what the “world” or common culture encourages that is contrary to what Scripture states. How do followers of Christ live without fear and stay strong in the midst of these pressures? The answers are found in knowing our identity as children of God, knowing that Jesus protects us from the evil one and knowing we need the church.