Christian Fellowship Church's Sermons

Latest Sermons
RSS Feed
Podcast Feed
The Religious Life vs Life in Christ
October 28, 2018 - Phil Schaefer
John 5
Christianity at its core is the end of all religion. In this sermon, Pastor Phil Schaefer teachers on the difference of religion and having life in Jesus. Religion is man making himself just in the eyes of God. But in Christ, God became a man. In Christ, God and man are united. There is no longer a need for religion because Jesus has made us just in God's eyes. Jesus has given us life! Thus, Christianity is a new life, not a new religion. Religion is this: any way that we are keeping record of our merits. Everyone starts this way. Every one of us is born religious. You want to get 'it' right. It's the only way we can understand in our early years. It is not Jesus who condemns us. It is religion that makes us feel condemned. But Jesus Christ is the end of all religion because He Himself was the ANSWER to all religion. Jesus is God's answer for making us not only right with God but also one with God. God calls us to do the same work that the Father and Son have been doing since the beginning: to be life, to be a light, to give our lives. Put simply, we are to be a blessing, to bring a blessing wherever we find ourselves. We do good not to gain eternal life but because we have eternal life. Our work or vocation is not to escape; it is to orient ourselves to new life even as we live in this world of sin. The very essence of Christianity is that man is incapable. There's the story of the lame man in John 5. Jesus asks the lame man if he wants to get well, and the man replies with an excuse. The lame man doesn't answer the question. Jesus responds with a command: "Get up!" This is not just a healing. This is an account of fallen mankind and our inability to heal ourselves. It is an account of the Gospel itself! Pastor Phil believes that this is a prophetic word for someone this morning. For someone who has wallowed in their crippledness for years, the Spirit is saying, "Get up!" Pick up what you've been lying upon these years. Stop letting it carry you. You roll it up. Start walking into the new life that Jesus has called you into. Jesus did not come to help us a little bit. He came to give us new life. His life. Life in Him. But we must be willing to come to Him to have this life. For through the cross, joy came into the whole world. This joy does not depend on anything to us. It is the joy of God's gift of Himself to us. It is the joy of forgiveness or being called a saint, of God's grace abundantly and freely given, of getting to be an instrument in God's hand, of God's seeking after us, of the Holy Spirit as a seal and promise of God. This is a joy given to us for the world. Christ dies for the world. He came for this world. He came not to give us an escape from it but to bring life and hope to it. All human achievement is leveled thru Jesus's death. Christianity is about the achievement of the cross. We worship a crucified man who is also the giver of life.
A Momentous Move - Part III
October 21, 2018 - Michael Acock
Ephesians 2: 8-10, Judges 3: 1-4, Matthew 9: 14-17
How to move forward as a church. Continuing the sermon series, A Momentous Move, from last week, Pastor Michael Acock teaches again this morning on what it looks like for our church to move forward, to grow. Pastor Mike starts out today by revisiting the 7 progressions he spoke about last week. There are 7 steps or progressions in moving forward: A deep internal sense that in this present moment the past will not and cannot define the future life. A dynamic vision of what the future could be. A single act of obedience to yes to what could be. A season of preparation in light of where you are and what you see as the future. An active step toward the future. A de-romanticized expectation of the journey. A relentless seizing of the opportunity to create a future that does not currently exist. What does this look like? Pastor Mike explains these points in more detail. In regard to the first progression Pastor Mike reminds us to honor the past, but stay loyal to the future. Then when talking about the second progression, Mike reminds us that who we are in God is not determined by what we do, but rather who we are in God determines what we do. Next, we look at what it means to say yes as an act of obedience and how saying yes acts as a guide in our journey. The next progression is a season preparation which is where it becomes the real thing, this is where we are right now in our church. Mike presents us with the analogy of preparing kids to move out and preparing to run a marathon. Then Mike goes into depth explaining the de-romanticized expectation of the journey. We are reminded that this journey will not be easy. We will have trouble, we will wrestle, we will have temptation, we will have trials, and we will suffer. These challenges are going to make us stronger when we reach the end of this journey. Then we will be ready for the seventh progression where we seize the next opportunity. Pastor Mike ends with the explanation of Matthew 9: 14-17. We need God to give us new wine and new wineskins. If we try to do something new with what we have now, it won't work, but we need God to give us new wineskins to expand where God would have us go. In closing, Mike exhorts us to fall in love with the mission God has given us and not the method. Systems and processes will change, but who God is will never change. Our fuel is God himself, not the vision.
A Momentous Move - Part II
October 14, 2018 - Michael Acock
Ephesians 2: 8-10, Matthew 9: 14-17
How do we move forward as a church? Continuing the sermon series, A Momentous Move, from last week, Pastor Michael Acock teaches this morning on what it looks like for our church to move forward, to grow. Pastor Mike starts the sermon with some history about Christian Fellowship, and then he moves to encourage us and inspire us in our building project. But first, it's important that we know who we are. We are not called to do church but to be the church. We are called out the world and given a new identity and then we follow Christ and go back in the world to change it. Who we are in God is not determined by what we do! Who we are in God determines what we do. We must know who God has called us to be. We will never step into the life God has for us trying to live out someone else's calling. As Jesus told Peter in John 21:20, we are to follow him. What is it to us what Jesus has called others to do. There are 7 steps or progressions in moving forward: A deep internal sense that in this present moment the past will not and cannot define the future life. A dynamic vision of what the future could be. A single act of obedience to yes to what could be. A season of preparation in light of where you are and what you see as the future. An active step toward the future. A de-romanticized expectation of the journey. A relentless seizing of the opportunity to create a future that does not currently exist. What does this look like? Pastor Mike explains some of these points in more detail, and he ends with the explanation of Matthew 9: 14-17. We need God to give us new wine and new wineskins. If we try to do something new with what we have now, it won't work, but we need God to give us new wineskins to expand where God would have us go. In closing, Mike exhorts us to fall in love with the mission God has given us and not the method. Systems and processes will change, but who God is will never change. Our fuel is God himself, not the vision.
A Momentous Move
October 07, 2018 - Phil Schaefer
Joshua 1:3
Bold Faith - When we look at the story of God's people, we see there are moments when God leads momentous moves, and we believe that our church is on the doorstep of our own move. In today's sermon, Pastor Phil Schaefer teaches on why we, our church are building a new church. Even Pastor Phil has asked himself if this is insane, and as others have asked him why we are doing this, the answer that he as to obey is this: God told us to make this move. At every stage of our history, God has put the next moves in front of us. It's been - "Here is your next move. Are you willing to take it? Here is a need. Are you willing to meet it?" Christian Fellowship, us as a group, hasn't been the driving force behind this; the Holy Spirit has been pushing this forward in his way, in his time, and he is who we are following. We are on a journey - a spiritual/physical/material journey following God. We have always been on a journey, and if we are to remain a thriving church, as a people known as Christian Fellowship, we must continue to be on a journey all our days. Your faith is not just about you; your faith is about the people of God. Phil was discussing this topic with people recently, and he blurted out: "We are doing this because it is a matter of life and death for us as a church." Phil didn't know where it came from, but he realized that we as a church cannot settle. If we do, our congregation will grow old and diminish. None of us can avoid growing old, but no church can afford to settle. This will not be Christian Fellowship's story. There are countless Momentous Moves in the Bible that changed the trajectory, the story of God's people in that time. They were bold and scary. Life and death are in the balance. How do they relate to our story? God is giving us a story that is about faith, boldness, risk - stepping into the unknown to see what God will do. God is not going to answer all our questions beforehand. Faith, by its nature, never has the answer ahead of time. This is why the Bible says, "Fear not" so often. These Momentous Moves are the kind of moves that shape your life on a larger scale. It can look irrational and dangerous, and yet, it changes the whole trajectory of a person's life - not just a person, but a people. We are the people of God in this day. We are a people being prepared for a Momentous Move. It is not just about a building. It is about building (a verb). It is about stepping into what God has put in front of us, stepping into needs and meeting them, being future directed so that we do not settle and die.
Oneness and Racial Unity
September 30, 2018 - Nathan Buxman
The world will know God is real when the people of God are in loving, interdependent, connected, loving relationships with one another. God has always been in relationship, the trinity is our model relationship. Since the fall, oppression and injustice are status quo for our world. We see this brokenness in our many aspects of our lives today. Some examples are brokenness and oppression in employment and housing as well as infecting our justice system with racial bias. The solution is in Christ. We are all one in Christ Jesus. The uniform of Christ becomes our strongest identity. Christian baptism erases the power differentials.
Why I Love This Church
September 23, 2018 - Phil Schaefer
Philippians 1:3-11
What is the Church? The church is a beautiful picture of faith, hope, and love. In the church we see a contrast of passion, God-stirred emotion, giving of oneself, and importance. As we live out our lives in the church we see a deep passion that is stirred in the depths of our souls. This passion represents a God-stirred emotion that motivates us to give of ourselves for others in our midst. We, as the Church, get the opportunity to enter into this passion. The church is an organism of faith, which is not stagnant but living and breathing. The Holy Spirit moves within us and keeps us active. Also, as an organism we are a group of people, not just individuals, who make up the Body of Christ. By stepping into the Body of Christ in the Church we become part of a beautiful picture of faith, hope, and love. Subscribe to watch our live streamed sermons, events and even our versions of talk shows. We live stream our sermons at around 9:50 am and 11:50 am every Sunday, and we hope you can join us here if not in person.
We Proclaim a Staggering Message
September 16, 2018 - Phil Schaefer
Colossians 1: 19-22, 26-28
What is Christianity? Does it just teach the same truth as other religions? And who is Jesus? These are common questions, and Pastor Phil Schaefer talks on each of them and more in this sermon: "We Proclaim a Staggering Message" from Colossians 1:19-22. Christianity is not an offer or a presentation; what we are dealing with in the Bible is a proclamation that God has done something that has affected every person, everything in every corner of the world, in every place in time and every culture that has and will exist. Mohammed, Buddha, Joseph Smith are not all preached in the same way as Jesus. There is only one person of whom it is said, "In Him all the fullness of God dwells and was pleased to dwell (Colossians 1:19)." He was not just a moral teacher or holy man, and He is overall rulers that have been or will be. Christianity is the proclamation that God has taken up and filled up everything, all of creation, history, and fallen mankind, in His Son Jesus. We proclaim Jesus' person, death, judgment, triumph, saving arm, and finished work. Watch Pastor Phil teach how Christianity changes everything. How Christianity is not another religion leading to the same place or same truth, and it's not something we just do on Sunday's. Christianity declares that God has given Jesus the name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Chris is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
A Reminder of the Wisdom of the Tithe
September 09, 2018 - Phil Schaefer
Genesis 14: 19-20, Leviticus 27: 30, Malachi 3: 8-10,
Tithing may not make sense when you look at your bank account balance, but it is an act of trust and faith in God as your provider. The tithe comes from a heart of faith and faithfulness rather than any Old Testament or New Testament law. In this sermon, Pastor Phil Schaefer teaches on tithing, and he says that giving a tithe is a response to what God has put in your heart for the ministry of your local church. Your faithfulness in tithing will allow the local church to fulfill all the ministries to which it is connected. Designated offerings are above and beyond the tithe and can be given to a specific thing. Our general attitude toward handling our money is based on one of two positions: Scarcity (we believe we will never have enough) or Abundance (we believe God is our provider). Remember that giving is a response to the grace of God over your life. We hope that this sermon encourages you to know God more in a local church community of your own.
The Gospel Applied by the Holy Spirit in Community
September 02, 2018 - Donnie Berry
Ephesians 3 : 7-19; 4 : 11-16
Everyone wants to grow. We want to be better, and we want to stop being stuck in our faults and mess. We want to be changed. In today's sermon, Pastor Donnie Berry teaches on what it looks like to Grow in the second part of our Grow sermon series. We all have the longing for something more and be transformed, and Jesus tells us that He's the answer. That we can find fullness of life in Jesus. He is how we can grow. We become like him, and we grow into the fullness of Christ through the Gospel, applied by the Holy Spirit, in Community. What is the gospel? We turn to the Bible in Ephesians 3 to find out from the Apostle Paul. We see that the Gospel is Jesus Himself. We understand the gospel more by becoming more like Jesus. How does this happen? The Holy Spirit makes us grow more like Jesus when we open the door to Him, and this happens best in real Christian community (or family). This all boils down to this. Growing is not about a list of disciplines, classes, spiritual practices, or other behavior; it's not about being able to compare ourselves to others. Growth looks like this: Christ becomes bigger to us. He is what we're pursuing together.
Spiritual Belonging and Spiritual Learning
August 26, 2018 - Michael Acock
1 Corinthians 12
Grow: It is what living things do. In the first sermon on "Grow," Pastor Michael Acock teaches about spiritual formation and how that relates to belonging. Spiritual discipline is more about God forming us instead of us working to change ourselves. We are not "forming ourselves;" we are being formed. We are simply "making ourselves available for God to that work of transforming grace in our lives." We so badly want to take control of our spiritual lives, and it goes against our nature to let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting of making us more like Jesus. This change takes place in relationship with Jesus and with the church. In our relationship with the church, we can be tempted to disqualify ourselves with self-doubt, or we can be tempted to dismiss those who seem unimportant to us. But we are called to be a body, a group, that is united and diverse. God gave us one another with different talents. Yet, all of these gifts are the most powerful when practiced with love. This is the better way because the church is relational before it is functional. In order to see this played out, we can't be separated from God's people, and we want to create an atmosphere where people can know they belong. Watch this sermon and the video at the end to see what this looks like at Christian Fellowship.