SERMON – Matthew 4:1-11 – Behind Enemy Lines (Part 1) – Temptation of Jesus


Matthew 4:1-11 - Behind Enemy Lines (Part 1)

Temptation of Jesus

Preached by Andrew Ruth

3 General Truths about Temptation

First, the Devil Tempts, God Tests.
You are most vulnerable to the Devil, when you feel closest to God.
There are no new temptation, only new versions of the same old temptations.

Jesus endured 3 Temptations - the same temptations we endure.

Stones to Bread. 

This is the temptation to pleasure myself. This is the temptation to satisfy my desires right now, my way, and not Gods. This is the temptation to believe that God only loves you if you have what you want when you want it how you want it.

Throw yourself off the Temple.

First Satan tempted Jesus with Pleasure, now he tempts him with Proof. Satan says, “If you’re the son of God, prove that God loves you and that God will rescue you, by putting yourself in a stupid, uselessly dangerous situation that God force God to rescue you.”

Bow down and worship me.

This last temptation is the temptation to Promote myself. This is the occult temptation of “The ends justify the means.” Jesus is being tempted to seemingly accomplish the right thing, the wrong way. He is tempted to accomplish God’s goals using the Devil’s methods.

SERMON – Matthew 3:13-17 – The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 6) – Baptism vs. Baptism


Matthew 3:12-17 - The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 6)

Baptism vs. Baptism

Preached by Andrew Ruth
Matthew 3:13-17

(Wonder why we call this "The Snow Globe Kingdom?" We explain it here.)

 God promises us 6 things visualized in Baptism.
3 Promises are pictured as we God into the Water.

In Baptism, God promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are so cleansed as God washes us in the blood of Jesus. 

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:26

In Baptism, we are promised that we died to sin, when Christ died on the Cross, and we were raised to new life as Jesus was raised from the dead.

having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. Col 2:12

In Baptism, God promises that we are credited with Christ's righteousness. We are given all the holiness and perfection Jesus achieved on our behalf. 

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Cor 5:21

Jesus received 3 gifts on the way out of the water, and because of Jesus, believers are promised the same 3 promises.

We are promised an OPEN HEAVEN. 

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22

We are promised the HOLY SPIRIT.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-5

We are promised the FATHER'S DELIGHT.

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Gal 4:6

SERMON – Youth Sunday – Exodus 7-12 – How Are the Plagues Gospel?


Exodus 7-12 - How are the 10 Plagues Gospel?

So how are these 10 plagues “Good News?” What do these ten huge, supernatural disasters teach us about God? And how is the God we see in the 10 Plagues a “Good” God?

 Well, in the 10 Plagues of Egypt, we see a God so jealous and loving that he goes to war to rescue his people from slavery in order to deliver them into a Promised Land. In these stories, God rightly judges Pharaoh and the Egyptians, but God does not destroy the Egyptians, which is remarkable when you think about it. The Egyptians have subjected the Hebrew people to the inhumanity of slavery for 400 years. Moreover Pharaoh ordered the murder of all Hebrew baby boys. Pharaoh has murdered hundreds of God’s grandchildren, and yet all God does is discipline him with Plagues.

Through that lens, the Plagues are far less severe than you or I would have poured out if Pharaoh had killed our grandchildren. In fact the plagues demonstrate God’s mercy and show beyond a shadow of a doubt that “YHWH is the LORD.”

At the other end of the Bible we see the God of the Plagues go to war again to save his people from slavery. Instead of sending Moses, God sends his only Son to confront the Devil and lead his people into the Promised Land. Instead of subjecting his enemies to plagues, the Son of God became a slave to all. Instead of spotless lambs on the doorframe, this time it is the Only Begotten Son, the First Born, who is sacrificed, so that the judgment of God will pass over those covered by his blood and those who eat of his flesh will live forever. Instead of leading his people into the Promised Land, the Son of God made a way for humans to enter into the very presence of God. The plagues showed that “YHWH is the LORD,” and now because of the Death and Resurrection, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess “Jesus is the LORD.”

Romans 6:20-23 teaches that we were previously slaves to sin, unable to do the right thing. We were slaves to the sin and the devil, whose business is death, and so all we grew was sin and death. But now we have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, and God’s business is holiness and eternal life – so that’s what we spend our lives building now. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Remember that your ancestors were slaves in Egypt, and so have mercy on those who are enslaved now. Remember that God fought for your ancestors and so labor to deliver those in slavery now. Remember that you ancestors were slaves in Egypt, and remember that you were a slave to a much greater Pharaoh, the Devil, but God fought for you and won your freedom on the cross. Remember, you were a slave to the Devil, but now you are a Child of God, so do not participate in the business of the devil, but give your whole life to God’s family business of making more and better disciples of Jesus.

SERMON – Matthew 2:1-23 – The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 4) – Us at Our Best and Worst


Matthew 2:1-23 - The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 4)

Humanity at Our Best and Worst

Preached by Andrew Ruth
Matthew 2:1-23

(Wonder why we call this "The Snow Globe Kingdom?" We explain it here.)

At Our Best

The Pagan Magicians from the East, show us that at our best, humans are very, very lost, worshipping things that are not God (stars) as God. Still we see that God is generous enough to use even our idols to lead us to the thrown of King Jesus. 

At Our Worst

The murderous King Herod shows us humanity at our worst, hostile to God and to one another, murderously protecting our rights and comforts as self-appointed kings. Even so, Emmanuel, God with Us, Jesus comes to the earth and suffers the greatest extremes of human cruelty in order to rescue and redeem those in the worst possible scenarios.  

SERMON – Matthew 1:18-23 – The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 3) – Born of the Spirit


Matthew 1:18-25 - The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 3)

Born of the Spirit

Preached by Andrew Ruth
Matthew 1:18-25

(Wonder why we call this "The Snow Globe Kingdom?" We explain it here.)

3 Things the Holy Spirit does.

Story shows us 3 things the Holy Spirit does. 

We see that the HOLY SPIRIT,
1.) Brings order out of chaos.
2.) New Creation of brokenness.
3.) Conceives Jesus as a human, and in human hearts and minds. 

2 Names of Jesus

2 Names tell us who Jesus is and what Jesus will do.

1.) Jesus - Because He, Himself, will save his people from their sins.
2.) Emmanuel - God With Us.

Joseph’s 1 Choice

Joseph still has a choice.
1. Will Joseph abort the King or will he humiliate himself to welcome God's Kingdom?


On April 19, 2015, we started a new longterm Sermon Series to preach our way through the entirety of the Gospel according to Matthew. My overarching title for the whole Matthew Sermon Series is “FOR THE KING,” but to keep it fresh and interesting, we will break this extended study into smaller “mini-series.” Our first mini-series covers Matthew 1-3, and I’ve entitled it “THE SNOW GLOBE KINGDOM.”

Why call the first 3 chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, The Snow Globe Kingdom? Good question. I call them The Snow Globe Kingdom, because they are in many ways a miniature version of the entire Gospel. They present to us in introductory fashion, the major points about God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; about humanity at its best and worst; about God’s history of saving the world; about God’s mercy; and about God’s grace. We will see “in miniature” the beauty and the horror of the whole Bible.

In the first sentence, we will see a summary of God’s faithfulness, as we hear of the promises accomplished in Jesus. In the genealogy, we will see God’s judgment on arrogant, idolatrous kings, and his global mercy on repentant, scandalously sinful, pagan women. In the birth of Jesus to Mary, we will see how the Holy Spirit works on human beings, and how God overcomes the impossible. In Joseph’s response to this scandalous birth, we will see the definition of “righteousness.” In the Magi, we see human beings at their very best, idolaters worshiping false gods, and yet we will simultaneous see how God overcomes our ignorance to lead us to worship and adore gladly the King of the Jews. In Herod’s murderous, lying rage, we see ourselves at our worst, usurping, mutinous, and hostile to God, like Adam and Eve, rejecting the King/God inorder to preserve our own authority and sovereignty. In all of this, we will see a baby, named Jesus, who recapitulates the history of Israel, and the history of humanity. We will see a baby, vulnerable, loved and hated aggressively and somehow “God With Us” in our vulnerability and subject to our hostility. In all of it, we will see the bad news about ourselves and the good news about Jesus.

Because of that it reminds me of a Snow Globe, a minute, intricate, beautiful version of a Kingly Palace. I hope in these first 3 chapters to tour the grounds and the chambers of this beautiful lifesaving message.

SERMON – Matthew 1:1-17 – The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 1)

Matthew 1:1-17 - The Snow Globe Kingdom (Part 1)
Jesus 2 Titles

Preached by Andrew Ruth
Matthew 1:1-17

God's Plan, Jesus' Fulfillment: One Forever King For Everyone

The Son of David

God promised King David that one of his descendants would reign forever and establish justice, peace, mercy, security, and a new covenant for the forgiveness of sins.

The Son of Abraham

God promised Abraham that through his "offspring" all the nations of the earth would be blessed, and Paul says that in Abraham, all the Gentiles have been blessed with salvation by faith in Jesus.