When Forgiveness Doesn't Work (Matthew 18:21-35)

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Forgiveness is one of those things that might sound easy on the surface, but it can be incredibly difficult deep down. If we're honest, sometimes it seems like forgiveness isn't working even though God's word says it's supposed to.

This week, we begin a short series on Parables of Jesus called The Moral of the Story. Dr. Ed Keazirian, one of Pastor Josh and Whitney's beloved seminary professors, will explore this topic of forgiveness in Jesus' Parable of the Unjust Servant.

Toward a Sustaining Faith (Matthew 14:22-31; 1 Peter 1:3-9)

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This Sunday we consider faith and doubt from Peter’s success and failure at water-walking. Peter’s faith was fickle -- lots of “successful failures” in which Peter successfully and courageously stepped out, and then failed miserably. Sound familiar? But toward the end of his life his faith expression is strong and solid. Our purpose Sunday is to study how we can nurture a faith that will endure and become increasingly vital, sustaining us throughout our lives.

A Very Unexpected Home (Matthew 2:19-23)

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Is there significance to the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth"? You bet there is! This was more than just a title or an address; the fact that Jesus was raised in the town of Nazareth says a great deal about who God is and what He is about. This Sunday we'll wrap up our Advent series, all about the unexpected way in which God became human and entered our world. 

Very Unexpected Evil (Matthew 2:13-18)

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This passage shows us the reality of Christmas. Sometimes we think that this time of year is about being joyful and peaceful and ignoring the difficult aspects of our lives. Yet the reality of Christmas is not about ignoring our difficulties, but having joy, peace, and hope in the midst of them. That's what having a "Merry Christmas" is truly about, and that's what we're going to celebrate this Sunday.

Very Unexpected Worshipers (Matthew 2:1-12)

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Wouldn't you expect the "King of the Jews" to be worshiped by...the Jews? In another unexpected twist to the Christmas story, we see pagan astrologers as the first worshipers of the Jewish Messiah, while the Jewish leaders respond with indifference. What might this say about who Jesus is really coming for -- and also how we should respond to King Jesus? During Advent, as we reflect on Christ's first coming and look forward to his second coming, how are you responding to the King?

A Very Unexpected Cost (Matthew 1:18-25)

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Joseph had a very unexpected Christmas. Usually, we focus on Mary's faith and courage during Advent -- and rightfully so -- but Matthew zooms in on Jesus' (legal) father. It is through Joseph's eyes that we see that the salvation that will come to the world will not come cheap. Following in the steps of Jesus is no easy thing, but that's what we're all called to as Christians today.

A Very Unexpected Family (Matthew 1:1-17)

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This week marks the first Sunday of Advent as we celebrate Christ's birth. Advent simply means "coming." Together with Christians around the world in this season, we identify with Israel, who waited hundreds of years for the coming of their King and Savior -- as we  also look forward to Jesus' second coming. But even though Israel had expected the Messiah's coming for hundreds of years, we'll see in this series in the Gospel of Matthew how truly unexpected his coming was in so many ways. Indeed, our God delights to work through unexpected circumstances in history and also in our own lives.

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!