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The City of Man

On Sunday, March 17, 2019, Elder Mike Gowens continued his studies in the first eleven chapters of Genesis by considering the narrative of Babylon and the building of its great tower, recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. This scene demonstrates the negative effect sin exercises on civilization and society. Since the Fall (recorded in Gen. 3), every part of God's world has been corrupted, even culture. Fallen man wants nothing more than to be left alone--to live his life and pursue his plans apart from God. But such an ambition is sure to fail, for God will not forever suffer the sinful rebellion of fallen humanity. 

A Tale of Two Adams

The 3/10/19 sermon by Michael Gowens draws from the narrative of Genesis 3:1-15 concerning the Fall of man into sin. This chapter is really the thesis statement of the entire Bible. Apart from an understanding of Genesis 3, it is impossible to make sense of why the world is in its present condition of conflict and tension, and to answer the question of why suffering and pain is so prevalent in human history. Genesis 3, consequently, is basic and fundamental to a theistic, or Biblical, worldview. It reminds us that we are not in Eden any more. Against the darkness of man's tragic failure, however, a Divine ray of light breaks upon the scene, for God reveals at the very moment of man's failure His provision to send a Second Man, through whom paradise lost will be restored.

Created With Purpose

In this 3/3/19 sermon, Michael Gowens continues the survey of Genesis 1-11 by considering the creation narrative in Genesis 1 and 2 from the philosophical perspective of meaning and purpose. Gowens argues that the fact of creation presupposes that life is purposeful, then proceeds to insist that the intricate design in the universe - both on a macro and a micro scale - reinforces the idea of purpose. Finally, he focuses on the creation of man and explains the four-fold purpose of human existence: 1) Fellowship with God; 2) Relationships; 3) Vocation; 4) Worship. Again, we see from this section of Divine Revelation just how relevant and pertinent God's word is to our times.

True Faith is Personal

Elder Mike Gowens begins his 2/24/19 message by looking at Matthew 16:13-15 and drawing from this passage an important biblical principle, namely, true faith is a personal matter. Until a person overcomes the temptation to fit in with the crowd, follow opinion polls and to court the approval of the world, he will never be an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ. The question that ultimately matters is not "what do people think?" but "what do I believe?" 

On 2/17/19, Elder Michael Gowens continues the study he began last week, returning to Genesis 1-11 to glean from these important chapters the basic emphases intrinsic to a Biblical Worldview. In this message, he deals primarily with theology proper, the queen of the sciences and the foundation for everything else. Because our world refuses to begin at the beginning, nothing else makes sense. But when a person begins with God, everything else around him begins to make sense. Do you possess a Biblical Worldview?

In this 2/10/19 sermon, Mike Gowens considers the first chapter of Genesis as the foundation of social order. Relativism, the idea that there is no concrete foundation for either truth or ethics but that personal preference and the situation governs thought and behavior, is wreaking havoc on our world. Pastor Gowens takes on the godless philosophy of relativism by arguing for the premise that because God exists as Creator of all, philosophical and moral absolutes also exist. Reality demands acknowledgment of these absolute truths. *Note: We regret that due to a technical failure with recording equipment, the final ten minutes of the message was not recorded.

Elder Michael Gowens' 2/3/19 sermon is based on the narrative recorded in Mark 4:21-43. In the two miraculous healings recorded in this passage, the Lord Jesus demonstrates his sovereign power over disease and death with an incomparable level of compassion and pity. Unlike modern-day celebrities, Jesus never secluded himself to the ivory towers, but interacted personally with real-life people who needed his touch. Still, he takes notice of individuals in their need, moving to alleviate their sorrows and transform their lives.

Fearing Jesus

In a moment of candor, most people would likely admit that there are numerous things about life in this world that prove to be an occasion for fear. But what if I told you about One who was more mysterious, more powerful and more intimidating than the many things that frighten us about the phenomena of nature? Even further, what if I said that this One is in the business of solving impossible problems, reclaiming lost causes, mending broken lives, and restoring lost hope? This 1/27/19 message by Elder Michael Gowens looks at the unsolvable, terrifying case of the Wild Gadarene (recorded in Mark 5:1-20) as an object lesson of the principle that if a person fears the Lord, there is no reason to be afraid of anything else.

Elder Michael Gowens' 1/20/19 message is based on the narrative of the storm on the Sea of Galilee recorded in Mark 4:35-41. Gowens gleans numerous doctrinal and practical lessons from this passage, not the least of which are these two: (1) Because the Lord Jesus has power to calm the storms we encounter, we must never allow excessive fear to overtake and rule our lives; (2) Because the Lord Jesus possesses greater power than our problems, the best response is to fall before him in reverential worship.

Elder Mike Gowens' 1/13/19 sermon looks at an expression in Exodus 19:6 in which God's people are identified as "a kingdom of priests." Gowens insists that maintaining the balance between the personal privilege of approaching God as a priest and the corporate responsibility of living together with other believers in a kingdom is critical to healthy church life. Understanding the priesthood of each believer challenges the dangerous extreme of clericalism. Understanding the community nature of the kingdom of God curbs the kind of unaccountable extremes that are so prevalent today among religious mavericks who tend to strike out on their own apart from the fellowship of the church. 

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