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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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On the first Sunday of 2019 (1/6/19), Michael Gowens looks at 1 Corinthians 5:17-21 in a message on the ultimate "new beginning." If the new year will be happy and productive to us as God's people, it is important that we live lives consistent with the new nature that God has implanted in our hearts. Otherwise, we will simply repeat the sins and errors of the kind of people we were before grace made us new.

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On the last Sunday of 2018 (12/30), Elder Mike Gowens looks at John 13:1: "Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." This verse is a kind of theme for the unfolding sequence of events revealed in the narrative recorded in John 13-17. The setting is the upper room and the atmosphere is one of tension, bewilderment and uncertainty about the future. Against the dark background of the disciples' weakness, however, the unchanging and undaunted love of Christ is on full display. As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, no theme is more sublime and important than the love of Jesus for his own.

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Gifts Fit for a King

Elder Michael Gowens' 12/23/18 sermon considers the visit of the Magi and the gifts they brought to the newborn King, as recorded in Matthew 2:1-11. Who were these "wise men"? What was the significance of the gifts they presented to the infant Messiah? Gowens attempts to answer these questions and more in this 51 minute message delivered to the congregation of Bethel PBC on the Sunday before Christmas.

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The Christian gospel is not a message of human ascent to God but of Divine descent to man. In this 12/16/18 sermon, Elder Mike Gowens looks at Philippians 2:5-11, one of the premier Christological passages of the New Testament. Why is the state of Christ's humiliation so important? What exactly did the self-humbling of Christ entail? Just how far down the ladder of humiliation did he descend? It is only as one begins to understand just how much He gave up to save His people from their sins that the true meaning of the incarnation and the cross come into focus. 

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