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In morning worship on 4/21/19, Elder Michael Gowens begins with the inspired, historical record of the resurrection of Jesus in Mark 16:1-14. He then proceeds to ask how the fact of the resurrection is relevant to believers today. Why is the resurrection of Jesus important? Brother Mike answers the question in three ways: (1) It is theologically significant; (2) It is pastorally significant; (3) It is eschatalogically significant. In other words, the relevance of the resurrection of Jesus arises from its relation to the doctrine of Christ's Person and Work, its spiritual value to the believer in the face of the many soul-struggles he experiences in life, and what it teaches us concerning the future and the ultimate question of the end of the world.

Elder Mike Gowens turns to Ephesians 4:31 - 5:2 to encourage the cultivation of loving, interpersonal relationships in this 4/14/19 sermon. Who has not felt the sting of relational tension? Who has not frequently felt defeated as he/she fails to interact Christianly with other people in the home, the church, the work place and the community? No area of life has the capacity to produce greater happiness than healthy relationships with the people that God has placed in our lives. Equally true is the fact that nothing tends to produce greater pain and distress than when those relationships break down. This passage offers practical instruction for dealing with other people, a subject relevant to each of us.

In this 4/7/19 sermon, Elder Mike Gowens looks at Isaiah 51:1-3 and the exhortation to God's people to reflect on their humble and inauspicious beginnings. Why is it important to frequently reflect on one's roots? What is the benefit of recalling one's personal history in weakness and helplessness and sin? The benefits of remembering where you came from and comparing it to the place God has brought you are two-fold: (1) It keeps one grounded in humility and gratitude; (2) It provides comfort, encouragement and hope for the future, for the God that has so graciously blessed you heretofore also promises to guide and provide for you in the future.

In this 3/31/19 message, Elder Mike Gowens looks at the narrative in Matthew 17:1-9 to extract from it a Biblical Christology, or doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ, as well as a pastoral application concerning the bright future that awaits every heaven-born soul. Unlike Peter, James & John who witnessed this supernatural transformation of Jesus' appearance, we presently live by faith, not by sight. One day, however, we will see Him as He is, in all of his glory and splendor. Until then, we have a more sure word of prophecy to direct and to guide on the journey home.

In this 3/24/19 message, Elder Michael Gowens returns to Genesis 11 to complete the study on Genesis 1-11 by considering the contrast between the city of man in Genesis 11 and the hope for the city of God, the development of which theme begins in Genesis 12. This eschatological note of paradise restored is integral to the Biblical worldview, and is the basis of the believer's future hope even though the present order of things is in such confusion and disarray. This final "big idea" - the consummation of all things - developed in the first several chapters of the Bible provides a fitting summary to this brief study.

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?

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