Stephen Murray

The Feast of the Father (The Prodigal God 5)

February 23, 2014

Bible Text: Luke 15:11-32 |

Series:

We have looked at the story of the younger brother, then we put it into its context with the story of the elder brother. Then we put the story of the two brothers into the context of the whole chapter. Each time we saw another important part of Jesus’ message. But we are not quite done. We need to see the story in the context of the whole Bible. Jesus was immersed in the
Scriptures, and in this story he is giving us the essence of the whole Biblical storyline in one vivid narrative. If we see that, we will get a 30,000 foot view of what the Bible is all about. We learn about 1) the human condition, 2) the divine solution, and 3) the new communion.

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The true elder brother (The Prodigal God 4)

February 16, 2014

Bible Text: Luke 15:11-32 |

Series:

We have been looking at the story traditionally called “The Parable of the Prodigal
Son.” We’ve said that you will miss the radical message of the story if you don’t see that it is about two sons — one immoral and “bad”, one very moral and “good” — who are both alienated from the father and therefore spiritually lost. That is a remarkable message. But there is much more — though it too is easy to miss. We must remember that this is the third of three parables, told to the same audience, meant to be pondered all together. What do we learn if we do that? In this message we learn: 1) the cost of reconciliation, 2) that there is a missing elder brother, and 3) that we have a true elder brother.

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The elder brother (The Prodigal God 3)

February 9, 2014

Bible Text: Luke 15:11-32 |

Series:

Most people who read and study The Parable of the Prodigal Son concentrate completely on the character of the younger son, his repentance, and the father’s forgiveness. And yet look at the text. It doesn’t end with the return of the prodigal. Almost half of the story is about the older son. The story is about two sons, who are both alienated from the father, who are both assaulting the unity of the family. Jesus wants us to compare and contrast them. The younger son is “lost”—that is easy to see. We see him shaming his father, ruining his family, sleeping with prostitutes, and we say, “yes, there’s someone who is spiritually lost.” But Jesus’ point is that the older son is lost too. In this message we learn 1) a startling new understanding of lostness, 2) what the signs of it are (so we can recognize it in ourselves), and 3) what we can do about this condition.

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The two lost sons (The Prodigal God 2)

February 2, 2014

Bible Text: Luke 15:11-32 |

Series:

The third of Jesus’ three parables is the longest and most famous. It is a story about a family—a father, an older son, and a younger son. The story begins when the younger son comes to the father and says, “Give me my share of the estate.” In ancient times, when the father died, the oldest son always got “a double portion” of what any other child got. If there are two sons, the older would get two-thirds of the estate and so the younger would get one-third. So the story opens with the younger son asking for his one-third share of the inheritance. In this message we look at: 1) the meaning of the request, 2) the response to that request, and 3) what difference it makes for us.

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The people around Jesus (The Prodigal God 1)

January 26, 2014

Bible Text: Luke 15:1-10 |

Series:

Luke 15 begins with the religious leaders noticing something—that Jesus seems to attract and befriend “tax collectors and sinners,” moral outcasts of respectable society. We read in verse 2 that they “mutter” to one another about this. We can almost imagine them saying: “He welcomes sinners! This kind of person never comes to our meetings. This must be because he is telling them what they want to hear. He is not calling them to repent or change.” In response, Jesus tells them three parables. By listening carefully to all three parables, and especially to the last one, traditionally called The Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus challenges his listeners’ fundamental assumptions about God, sin, and salvation. He gives them an entirely new way of thinking about God, themselves, and the whole world. In this message we look at the first two of these parables.

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God, Sin, Man

Sermon Series - Psalms

January 19, 2014

Bible Text: Psalm 24 |

Series:

Closely following the flow of the three stanzas of Psalm 24, this message answers the questions: - What is God like? - What are we like? - How do we relate to each other?

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Wisdom for a blessed 2014

Sermon Series - Psalms

January 12, 2014

Bible Text: Psalm 1:1-6 |

Series:

At the start of each new year we look forward in anticipation hoping for something good. Psalm 1 challenges some of our notions of the blessed man or woman and offers us some practical wisdom for the new year.

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Jesus the Revolutionary

September 22, 2013

Bible Text: Matthew 21:1-11 |

Series:

The revolutionary difference the meek and majestic King makes.

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Jesus the Magician

September 8, 2013

Bible Text: Mark 2:1-12 |

Series:

Jesus is often seen as something of a First Century miracle worker. How do we make sense of him in an age where people are highly skeptical of the miraculous?

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Why Gospel-Centered?

Hope City

January 27, 2013

Bible Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-7 |

Series:

Answering the questions: Why do we describe our church as gospel-centered? What does gospel-centered mean?

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