Defining Moments Cultural Address: A Biblical View of Sexual Identity, Morality, and Marriage

August 23, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  August 23, 2015  ::  Genesis 1-2, Leviticus 18-20, Romans 1

At the intersection of church life and secular culture there is an ongoing discussion regarding sexual identity, human and civil rights, the definition of marriage, and how we understand what is moral and what is immoral. Since the June 26, 2015, Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, people of faith are examining once again what we believe, and why.

Homosexuality is in the spotlight with regard to all of these questions, both inside and outside of the church.

Today's message is meant to clarify what the Bible has to say regarding homosexuality, and in light of God's Word to us, how we ought to live and respond as followers of Jesus Christ.

Clarifying Our Calling

March 8, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  March 8, 2015  ::  Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 22:37-40

There are a hundred things our church could do. But God has placed St. Olaf in THIS community for THIS time in history to be His ambassadors. His voice to these people. His hands and feet. To be disciple-makers.

This message comes as a summary of our 2015 Leadership Retreat at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. After months of seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance for clear ministry direction, we are beginning to clarify our calling. We believe that our Biblical calling to this community must be guided by the following truths: (1) We are called to be a DISCIPLE-MAKING church.  (2) The biblical descriptions of mature disciples in Christ embrace four key relational components: KNOWING God deeply (relationship), LOVING God whole-heartedly (worship), KNOWING the fellowship of other believers (St. Olaf family), and LOVING people intentionally (community).

So why are we here? Why do we exist?

St. Olaf: To KNOW and LOVE God. To KNOW and LOVE People.


NOTE:  Within this sermon you will hear audio from TWO VIDEOS that were used in our service. Find information below. The song used as the audio track for the second video is "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.

(1) Video #1  --  "MeChurch" by Igniter Media.  Order here from WorshipHouseMedia  >>

(2) Video #2  --  "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.  Watch here. >>

Lent 2015 :: The Suffering Servant, Part One

March 4, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  March 4, 2015  ::  Isaiah 53:1-3

Tonight we examine the beginning of the last of the Servant Songs from the prophet Isaiah. Nowhere in all the Old Testament does the gospel of Jesus Christ shine more clearly than in Isaiah 53. Seven hundred years before Jesus came into the world, God opened the eyes of his prophet to see into the very heart of Christ’s saving work. And the heart of that saving work is substitution. The Messiah is pierced and crushed in our place. The righteous in the place of the unrighteous. The loving shepherd in the place of the lost sheep. The exalted king in the place of the rebel subjects.

Colossians 2:6-10 :: In Him

February 22, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  February 22, 2015  ::  Colossians 2:6-10

In reference to Colossians 2 - our text today - John MacArthur says that every man is either “Captured by philosophy” or “Complete in Christ.”

And I believe him! Because the Gospel is either TRUTH or it is not. And if the Gospel is the TRUTH, then everything else is just everything else.

Colossians 2:1-5 :: Knit Together in Love

February 15, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  February 15, 2015  ::  Colossians 2:1-5

Paul writes to the church that bears the name of Jesus and says he desires to see us miraculously UNIFIED in order to be protected against corruption of the true Gospel. Strengthened in heart and mind, encouraging one another. Knit together in love. And living in such confidence in our faith that we have courage to live Christ-like lives.

Colossians 1:19-23 :: Blood and Reconciliation

February 1, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  February 1, 2015  ::  Colossians 1:19-23

Everyone begins life alone. Our minds are set against God's authority. And we hate Him. We begin life warring against Him.

What a wonder it is to see enemy combatants transformed into friends of God. That's what reconciliation looks like. The world is transformed. All of nature, the cosmos, the heavens, and you... Christ is reconciling everything. By the blood of Jesus, enemies become friends.

Colossians 1:15-19 :: He is First

January 25, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  January 25, 2015  ::  Colossians 1:15-19

Today was the third message in our look into Paul's letter to the Colossians, and it lays out the central theme of the book: HE IS FIRST. You life also has a central theme: SOMETHING is first... What is it?

Colossians 1:1-8 :: Grace and Peace, Faith, Love, and Hope

January 11, 2015


St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  January 11, 2015  ::  Colossians 1:1-8

Today we began a study of Paul's letter to the Colossians, focusing on the first 8 verses. Paul starts all of his letters with a nod to our deepest need and our deepest yearning - the Grace of God that leads to the peace we all long for. As he begins this letter to the baptized saints in Colossae, Paul thanks God for the evidence of the hope they share - the kind of resolute and certain hope that bolsters faith and undergirds life-changing love for one another.

One Story

January 4, 2015

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  January 4, 2015  ::  various texts

Recorded on the first Sunday of the New Year.

The whole story of history is God's story of redemption. The whole Bible tells this one story. And every story in the Bible tells this one story. Jesus is the centerpiece of all of history. Understanding the implications of this truth helps us see how our story is meant to be a part of God's unfolding story every day.