Forward in the Gospel (Philippians 1:12-18)

This is Pastor Larry Showalter's final sermon as Senior Pastor of Ruggles Baptist Church. 

The subtitle of this sermon is, "Is What's Happening to Me Accomplishing Something for God?"

You are where you are. But what are you doing here in this workplace, in this academic institution, living in this neighborhood? Does God really have a purpose for your being here, or are your circumstances coincidental? Are you “lucky” or “unlucky” to be where you are?
 
Here’s a challenge: to receive your circumstances as from God, and to discover why he has you where you are. Is what’s happening to me/you accomplishing something for God?

Forward in Growth (Philippians 1:9-11)

Last Sunday, we looked at how we can practically follow Paul's example of love for the Philippian church through looking back (remembering what God has done in our lives) and looking forward (expecting what God is doing and will do in our lives). This week, we see Paul's specific prayer for the church: "that your love may abound more and more" (1:9). This is God's prayer for us as a church as well. How can we continue to move forward in love so that it abounds more and more in our individual lives and in our church?

While We Were Sleeping (Romans 5:1-11)

This is Memorial Day weekend in the United States, a time to remember those in the military who have made the "ultimate sacrifice," giving their lives defending and protecting our freedom.

In this week's Scripture passage (Romans 5:1-11), we see that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. However, his death bought a freedom even more precious than political freedom-- it was the freedom from sin and death.

The key verse is verse 8, which says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Mission Mindset (Matthew 28:16-20)

Ruggles Baptist Church was founded on May 24, 1878. So every year on or near this date we take time to reaffirm our mission as both individuals and as a church. What is our mission? To invite Boston and beyond into a life-changing relationship with Christ and his church. Today we'll look with fresh eyes at our "marching orders" from the Lord Jesus in the Great Commission: make disciples!

#Blessed (Genesis 11:27-12:9)

Many people say that Genesis 12 is the turning point in the whole story of Scripture. God calls Abram (aka Abraham) and promises to bless him. But this raises a number of questions for us. What does it mean to be blessed by God? How do we receive these blessings? Why does God bless us? And where does this fit in to the story of salvation in the whole Bible? The Lord answers all of these questions and more in Genesis 12. 

Our Babylonian Hearts (Genesis 10:32-11:9)

This week's passage is all about the people who decided to build a tower to the sky, and the Lord's response to their disobedience. What was at the heart of God's decision to confuse their language and scatter them over the earth? Perhaps the key is their motivation for the construction of their skyscraper: "let us make a name for ourselves."

And what about us? Are the cities that we build and inhabit for the purpose of making a name for ourselves, or honoring the name of Jesus Christ? 

Love Covers Shame (Genesis 9:18-29)

How can this be?? Is this really Noah, righteous man of God, giant of the faith? Drunk, passed out, naked, humiliated by his son? Why is this story here, and what does it show us about the roots of our redemption? If you've ever thought to yourself, "How could God ever love someone like me?" then you need to hear this. 

An Illustrated Story of the Gospel (Romans 3:24)

This Easter Sunday we are taking a break from the series, “The Roots of Our Redemption” to dwell on our redemption. The Scripture for Sunday is one short verse, Romans 3:24.
“All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

 
Through a series of illustrations we hope to present the story of the Gospel this Resurrection Sunday. On Good Friday it looked like Jesus was defeated on the cross. What looked like defeat on Friday was actually an epic victory over evil confirmed by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is alive!

God's Reboot (Genesis 6:5-7:24)

The Flood is one of the most well-known stories in all the Bible, especially for children. But this is no fluffy fairy tale. It's an account of wickedness and judgment and death. God hits the restart button and reboots the whole earth because humanity had become so corrupt. Yet Noah "finds favor" (grace) with God, who preserves him and his family through the storm. In this passage, we'll see the gravity of God's judgment against sin and the great lengths he goes to save us.

Fear of God's Judgment (Genesis 6:1-8)

This difficult passage clearly demonstrates the judgment of God. How do you live the abundant Christian life in view of God’s ability to wipe you out? The prospect of God’s judgment serves to eliminate from your options that you can come to Jesus and do whatever you immorally want. Are you looking to see what you can get away with in your Christian walk? Instead of focusing on your brokenness, give greatest attention to knowing and loving God so that your love for him motivates you to live in harmony with his will. But how do you live this way if you are afraid of his judgment?

Crouching Sin, Hidden Motives (Genesis 4)

Today we'll look at the story of Cain and Abel, and we'll ask three questions that will help us see this familiar story in a new way:

  • 1) What do we learn about God's character? What is important to Him?
  • 2) What do we learn about Cain, and about ourselves?
  • 3) Where is Jesus in this story?

And God Created Woman (Genesis 2:18-25)

For the first time in God’s creation something is not good. Adam is alone. In another dramatic and creative act of God woman is created from man. Even greater still, this relationship between the first man and woman is an image of the relationship God desires with you. Amazing that God is so passionate for an intimate and ongoing relationship with people like us. This relationship between the first man and woman reveals the root of our redemption. (For the “punchline” read Ephesians 5:21-33, especially verses 31-32)