Category Archives: Bible

  1. Where everybody knows your name (Ephesians 4.1-16) [sermon 9-22-19]

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    September 24, 2019 by jmar198013

    “Cheers” was a popular sitcom about a Boston bar, “where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” What can the church learn from this show about a bar? According to Ephesians 4.1-16, quite a bit, actually.

  2. The riches money can’t buy (Ephesians 3.14-21) [sermon 9-15-19]

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    September 17, 2019 by jmar198013

    In the classic sitcom “Silver Spoons,” millionaire toy company owner Edward Stratton and his newfound son, Ricky, “learn all about those things you just can’t buy.” That’s Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesians as well. That we would learn about God’s “glorious riches”: the power of the Holy Spirit among us; the immense and immeasurable love of Christ; and the fullness of God dwelling in us. Those are riches that can’t be bought–only received in faith.

  3. He-Man and the mystery of God’s glorious kaleidoscope (Ephesians 3.1-13)


    September 10, 2019 by jmar198013

    In this week’s episode, we’re using the ’80s cartoon, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” to understand Ephesians 3.1-13, where Paul refers to the “mystery of Christ.” This mystery unites all sorts of people in Christ, making the church a sort of “kaleidoscope.” This kaleidoscope reveals God’s wisdom to evil spiritual forces, like Satan, announcing their defeat.

  4. It takes diff’rent strokes to move the church (Ephesians 2.11-22) [sermon 9-1-19]


    September 3, 2019 by jmar198013

    In times of conflict, you’ve probably heard someone say: “Let’s put our differences aside and work together.” But in Ephesians 2.11-22, Paul says: “Let’s put our differences together, and watch God work through us.” The old sitcom taught us “it takes diff’rent strokes to move the world.” Paul would say it takes “diff’rent strokes” to move the church, too.

  5. Singers slinging hash browns in a diner in the desert (Ephesians 2.1-10) [sermon 8-25-19]

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    August 27, 2019 by jmar198013

    The title character in the long-running sitcom Alice is a widow who left New Jersey for Los Angeles with her son after her husband was killed in a road accident. She has dreams of stardom, but when her car breaks down in Phoenix, AZ, she’s forced to take a job at a roadside diner and build a life there. In one sense, Alice’s dreams died in Phoenix. But in another sense, she began to experience a fresh, new life. Her story began anew in that little diner in the desert. In Ephesians 2.1-10, Paul tells us that we were all “dead” in our sins and trespasses. And it would seem that all of God’s dreams and good plans for us had died, too. But by God’s grace, we have been given new life in Christ. Our lives have been renewed, so that we can again fulfill God’s dreams and plans for us.

  6. Hope for good times (Ephesians 1.15-23) [sermon 8-18-19]

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    August 20, 2019 by jmar198013

    The classic sitcom “Good Times” featured a poor family “scratching and surviving” in a Chicago slum. Their hopes for “good times” were founded on diminished expectations, and didn’t stretch much further than right here, right now. I think we can all relate, as we experience our life with Satan as our slumlord, and we live impoverished by sin, death, and despair. Where do we find hope that transcends our circumstances? In Ephesians 1.15-23, Paul says our hope for good times comes from Christ. God has chosen us in Christ as his own inheritance, for resurrection and eternal life with him. Those are the “good times” we hope for.

  7. Perfect strangers, united in Christ (Ephesians 1.3-14) [sermon 8-11-19]

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    August 13, 2019 by jmar198013

    Ephesians 1.3-14 is a word of praise from Paul, where he tells the story of what God has done, is doing, and will do through Christ. God’s goal, he says, is to join all things together under Christ. The church reflects God’s purposes by uniting all kinds of people in Christ–people of every race and color and nation and language. That sounds like a beautiful ideal, but it comes with culture shock and growing pains. The classic sitcom “Perfect Strangers” gives us a glimpse of the challenges we will have to negotiate for the church to look like the mosaic of humanity God intends. But it also shows us the joy that can arise when God transforms perfect strangers into a family in Christ, through the Holy Spirit.



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