We all long for a better world. We want all that is broken around us to be fixed and restored. But what if this brokenness in our world, and even in our hearts, is merely a symptom of something deeper? This longing can only be satisfied when we are restored back to God. Jesus came to the earth to bring this restoration, to usher in a new kingdom. In his teaching and miracles he pointed towards this new way, and in his death he made it possible for us to be made citizens of it. In the kingdom of God we find the life and satisfaction we all long for, and it's ours because of Jesus.
To know who you are, you have to know your roots. The Protestant Reformation was a decisive and dramatic turning point in the history of the church, producing benefits we still experience today. Through it God birthed a rediscovery of the Bible and the gospel. We are going to spend the five Sundays of October celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, not only because it happened in history, but because it addresses what is at the heart of the human condition and God’s solution.
The most fundamental question we can ask is why we are here. This forces us down to the root questions of is there a God and, if so, how should this impact how we live. These are crucial questions with eternity-altering consequences. The prophet Isaiah had a unique insight into these important questions. He had an actual vision of God himself. He saw who God truly is and points out what this means for us. So why are we here? Isaiah can serve as a very helpful guide.
Every one of us has longings deep within our soul, longings which we cannot turn off or ignore, longings for things like glory and joy. We continually look for their satisfaction in all kinds of places and pursuits. In the letters to the Thessalonians, we find a people who have found the glory and joy they had been longing for. They found the one true source, they were growing in it, and they were on a path to increase their experience of it forever.
Year by year, whether we commit to them or not, we all have visions for what or who we would like to be. Resolutions to make, changes to be had. Why is the desire for something different always nagging in the back of our minds? Why is change so hard? The gospel tells us that these desires and motivations are glimpses of the change which only Jesus can bring.
In the Bible, we are repeatedly told to look back to one specific story—to remember it, to retell it, to take it to heart. The story is that of the exodus, when God moved in dramatic ways to bring deliverance to his people. In this story, we see God’s holy character and his power. We are given a picture of what God does for us and what he requires of us. And we hear of God’s purpose to dwell with his people, which he not only desires but also makes possible.
Some say, “Christianity is all about loving people.” Others say, “Being a Christian means believing the great truths of the faith.” Then you hear someone else say, “What is really important is obeying God’s commands.” You probably lean in one of these directions yourself. So which is it? What does a real faith in Jesus look like? How does it impact our thoughts and actions? And most importantly, how do you know when you have it? These are crucially vital questions that the book of 1 John addresses head-on.
Our Core Values are six great truths about who Jesus is and about how we live out our faith in him with one another as a church. These are truths that guide us, direct us, and fill us with an overflowing worship and delight. They are our most cherished convictions and are the very heart of who we are as a church.
The book of Acts shows us the early church's response to the good news of Jesus. But more importantly it shows us how we should respond to the gospel. From gospel proclamation, to prayer, to persecution, the gospel produces a people who are willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ.
Almost everyone would agree that God loves us. But what does that exactly mean? What is his love like—how big is it, how deep is it, does it eventually reach an end? In the book of Hosea, God gives us a startling and shocking picture of his love, an astounding love that is better than anything we could guess or make-up.
The book of Philippians is about life—how it should be lived and what is important. It challenges us deep in our motivations and our efforts. It is written to a dearly loved church and gives us necessary direction in the difficult, gritty task of living in real community. It is about being committed to a mission bigger than ourselves because of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. In Philippians, we find our course for Moving Forward.
From the beginning to the end, the Bible is one overarching story—a true story about what God has done, is doing, and will do in the world. We live in the midst of this story every day; it is still going on and the exciting climax is still yet to come. If you are curious about what the Bible is about, this six week series will help you understand it in a clear and helpful way.
The Psalms give expression to our souls, from the highest of delights to the lowest of despairs. But even more importantly, they point us towards the One True and Living God and his Son, Jesus Christ. By doing this, the Psalms help us as real people with real issues rightly live our lives before the face of God.
God reveals great truths about himself to us in his word. Remarkable truths, amazing truths that radically reorient the direction and purpose of our lives. In these two messages, we delve into the six Core Values of Sovereign Hope to see how these life-changing truths transform our lives and church.
The gospel of John begins with the words “In the beginning was the Word,” and so he begins his beautiful and stunning portrayal of his dear friend and Lord, Jesus Christ. The most important person we can ever know is Jesus, and the clearest place to begin is in this book by his beloved disciple, John.
All of human history decisively turns at the cross of Jesus Christ. As P.T. Forsyth said, “You do not understand Christ till you understand the cross.” Not only can you not know Christ apart from the cross, you cannot know God’s purposes in this world. In fact, you cannot even rightly know yourself. The cross is the clearest demonstration of our deepest need and of God’s abundant provision.
The Church is central to God’s purposes on the earth. It is his people, the bride of his Son, and the central means through which God is accomplishing his mission. Because of the importance of the church to God, he has intentionally told us everything we need to know in the Bible to rightly live out church. These three messages look into God’s purposes for the church and how this impacts our structure and life at Sovereign Hope.
Never before in human history have we had so many paths and options available to us. Yet we are only given one chance with our lives. This is why we desperately need wisdom from a source that is wiser and smarter and bigger than us. This needed wisdom is what we find in the book of James, a letter written by a brother of the Lord Jesus, but more importantly, a letter written to us by God.
The book of Ruth is a captivating and gripping love story. In it we are led through a very dark and bleak place until we come to an unforeseen and unexpected happy ending. More importantly, we seen the hand of God at work in history to bring about his redemptive purposes, often beginning in the most unlikely of places.