Sermons by Joshua Hartwigsen

Sermons by Joshua Hartwigsen

The Death of Death

1 Corinthians 15:12-28 Paul believed the good news of Jesus’ resurrection changed everything and offered the foundation upon which Christian thinking and living built itself. We should therefore ask ourselves, as people who claim to believe in Jesus’ resurrection, does it offer the same foundational, life-changing place in our lives that it held within Paul’s life?

Co-Conquerors

Revelation 2:8-11 Many people who read the Bible tend to avoid Revelation. Even though the book’s confusing imagery alienates some readers, God intended its strange contents to serve as a triumphant conclusion to the Bible’s message rather than some opaque reading test of one’s faith. That triumphal message begins with Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 in which Jesus describes the challenges confronting the churches and offers blessings to those who overcome them. Our consideration of those letters will seek to identify how they speak to Jesus’ church throughout time and geography and what lessons they therefore hold for us.

Jesus’ Contagious Holiness

This lesson explores the surprising contagiousness of Jesus’ holiness in the account of his healing of the leper in Matthew 8 and use it to add another layer explaining our need to follow Jesus

Difficult Passages

Paul told the Corinthian Christians that God expects His people to “be united in the same mind and the same judgement” (1 Corinthians 1:10). That expectation, however, encounters difficulties when we consider the challenging nature of some of the material God put into His Bible, the book that He intends to play a key role in our unity (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:6). We will, therefore, take time in this lesson to explore one difficult passage – God’s command to the Israelites to “devote [the Canaanites] to complete destruction” in Deuteronomy 7:1-5 – and its place within the biblical narrative

More than an arbiter

The Old Testament book of Job records Job’s struggle to understand the suffering he believed God sent against him. Part of the his struggle revolved around his desire to argue his case before God, a desire he believed could not be fulfilled because he had no one to arbitrate between himself and God (Job 9:32-33). Job’s lament for an arbiter prepares us to appreciate the New Testament’s explanation for why we need Jesus – he mediates a relationship between God and us (1 Timothy 2:5).

Why the Law?

Leviticus details the laws God gave to Israel as part of His covenant relationship with them. The book’s record of those laws seems strange, arbitrary, and sometimes even cruel to modern readers, which raises the question in many peoples’ minds – why did God give those laws and what am I supposed to do with them today? This lesson considers a series of passages that outline a basic overview of God’s purposes in the law, purposes that help us understand its place in God’s Bible and in our lives today.

Jesus Knows Best

People commonly identify Jesus as ‘loving’ or ‘serving’ or ‘merciful’, but rarely do they identify him as ‘smart’. Paul’s comment that Jesus possess “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3) stands against our common perceptions. This lesson will consider our need to follow Jesus because he knows best and will note some of the features that define his ‘smart’ way of living.”

God Will Raise Up a Prophet

Deuteronomy 18:15-18 — Deuteronomy opens with a reminder of both Moses’ failure as Israel’s God-appointed leader and the punishment he would receive.  Moses’ failure combines with his important place both in both Israel and in the Bible’s larger story to raise questions about Israel and humanity’s ongoing relationship with God.  Those questions lead to God’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses, a promise that finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.  This lesson will explore that promise and ways…

The Story of Jesus’ Rule

Acts 1:1-11–Bibles label the book of Acts as “the Acts of the Apostles”, giving readers the impression that it offers a historical record of the apostles’ activities in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. While true, that impression fails to grasp the fuller picture Luke carefully composed in his book. Acts gives to its readers far more than merely a historical account of the early church’s activities; it uses that historical account to narrate the reality of Jesus’ kingdom…

Worthy is the Lamb

This lesson considers Revelation’s picture of Jesus’ worthiness in Revelation 5 and what his worthy identity means for us. Revelation 5:11-12

God on a Mountain and God in us

Acts 2:1-4 Like any well-crafted story, the Bible records dramatic moments that establish templates used to shape and inform other, later events. But rather than merely being good storytelling technique, the Bible uses those moments to introduce important concepts that give insight into God’s character and His relationship with humanity. Exodus’ account of God’s descent onto Mount Sinai offers one of those dramatic, template-forming events. This lesson will follow some of the ways the Bible uses the scene on Mount…

What about my mind?

Jesus and mental health – This lesson offer an introduction to the sometimes-challenging issue of mental health and its relationship to following Jesus. Rather than offering simplistic answers, the lesson will use mental health as an evidence of the brokenness of our world and of our need for Jesus. It will also propose that the greatest way Jesus helps us in such areas comes, not from healing, but from the compassion, love, openness, and understanding that should characterize our relationships…

I AM – The light of the world

I AM “The light of the world” John 8:12: John, in his gospel, records eight statements made by Jesus that we commonly call his “I AM” statements. Last month we began a study of those “I am” statements that we will continue in this lesson by considering Jesus’ statement, “I am the light of this world”.

God in our Midst

John 1:1,14 — Exodus through Deuteronomy devote a large amount of space to the tabernacle, which ought to impress on us the important place God intended it to have within Israel. While the tabernacle served important, functionary purposes, it introduced key ideas about God that found their fulfillment in Jesus who the New Testament presents as God’s new tabernacle.

A Story of Broken Relationships

This lesson (a continuation of the lesson “A Story of Broken Relationships”) will look at Revelation 21-22 to consider the ways in which John’s revelation pictures God restoring His relationship-oriented intentions through Jesus to help us better understand the end of the story we are in and how our relationship with Jesus is moving us towards that conclusion.

Jesus’ I AM

“Jesus’ “I Am” statements in John’s gospel offer insights into his understanding of his identity and its meaning for us.  This lesson will explore Jesus comment about being the way to the Father in John 14 and will seek to help us better understand his exclusive claim in our pluralistic society.

Whiter than Snow

This lesson will consider Psalm 51, David’s poetic reflection on his sin with Bathsheba, and the perspectives it offers us on God’s forgiveness and the expectations that accompany it.

A Story of Broken Relationships

Genesis 3:1-7 This year we will be dedicating ourselves to becoming more like Jesus.  But that focus assumes something important that we need to make explicit – we need to become like Jesus because we are broken people.  This lesson will therefore consider the opening chapters of Genesis and their narration of God’s relationship-oriented intentions for humanity and the way that humanity’s rebellion broke those relationships.  Additionally, we will explore how humanity’s rebellion fractured three areas of relationships (God, self,…

New Beginnings

Romans 6:1-13 The past year has been a year of change for both the 151st church family and for me and my family. You all spent the year regrouping after the Southpoint church plant, preparing for the Richard’s retirement, and searching for a new minister. My family and I spent the past year searching for a new work while preparing the congregation we were at to transition to a new minister. But now we are preparing to enter a new…

Follow Me

Luke 9:57-62: God has given Jesus “all authority in heaven and on earth” and he invites us to submit ourselves to his rule. But both his rule and his kingdom within which he exercises his rule often differs from our expectations.
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