God is glorious: I need not fear others (Prov. 29:25)

Publié le 1 mai 2022 dans Traductions

Sermon preached by Pastor Vincent Bourrel on 1st May 2022

Introduction

You are late for an appointment because you did not leave early enough. How do you react?

  • Do you invent terrible traffic jams… Probably due to a serious accident?
  • Do you denounce your spouse, your children, who made you late?
  • You pretend you were on time and pretend you didn’t notice the time of the appointment?
  • Do you admit that you left too late to be on time, ask for forgiveness and bear the consequences of your negligence?

Why do we tend to think about one of the first 3 solutions?

Because we don’t want to appear as we are: negligent.

Because we fear the consequences of our delay: if it was a job interview, you won’t get the job; or if it was an ophthalmic appointment, you have to reschedule in 8 months.

Because we fear the rejection of the person we are trying to please.

In short, we fear men more than we fear God because we are ready to displease God, by adding a lie to our negligence, rather than displeasing men.

« It is a snare to tremble before men, but to trust in the LORD gives security. » Prov 29.25

The fear of men pushes us to lie, to hide our failures, to deceive, to appear better than we are, to be cowardly when we fear losing something. All this to gain the esteem and favor of a boss, to not disappoint a spouse, to get the approval of parents, or to belong to the cool group of high school or college friends…

The fear of men is part of the human race, you didn’t need to observe it to reproduce it, since the fall of Adam and Eve, fear has filled our hearts, and pious men like Abraham and Peter have fallen into its abyss dragging others down with them.

How can we rid ourselves of the fear of men?

The answer is: By fearing God, that is to say, by considering the person of God as he is.

(la suite…)

God is great: I don’t need to control everything! (Is. 40:9-31)

Publié le 1 mai 2022 dans Traductions

Sermon preached by Pastor Samuel Niblack on 24th April 2022

We’ve just sang, « transcendent word, immanent word. » Transcendent and immanent –these are not words we use every day. The dictionary gives the following definition for the word « transcendent »: surpassing the ordinary; exceptional. And for « immanent »: existing or operating within; inherent.

In the past, when humans had a problem, a challenge, or a drama, they called upon something transcendent. Sometimes, they would do it too easily, which is superstition. Let’s take an example: your car won’t start. « It’s because the planets aren’t nicely aligned. » (transcendent explanation). « You didn’t put gas in it. » (immanent explanation).

Today, it is the opposite. When humans have a problem, a challenge, they only seek a solution in the physical world. As philosopher Charles Taylor said, « The great invention of the West was that of an immanent order in Nature, whose working could be systematically understood and explained on its own terms. » We are thus freed from the need for a transcendent Creator. In this day and age, we are quite proud of this invention. At last, man is taking up the challenge of fending for himself. We no longer wait for magical solutions that fall from the sky. We have freed ourselves from the crutch of religion. We roll up our sleeves and take care of ourselves. How supremely noble!

But as French author Jérôme Ferrari recently admitted, « I’m in need of transcendence ». Indeed, to eliminate a great God, an all-powerful God, a Creator, truly leaves a vacuum. And there is always something that will fill that void: the State, the media, technology, and also our inner self, with a tendency to control everything.

This morning, I’d like to say that it’s tiring and stressful to play the role of God, and control everything in life. I’d like to suggest a transcendent solution: trust in a great God!

(la suite…)

Who is Jesus? The Resurrected King (Mark 15:39-16:8)

Publié le 1 mai 2022 dans Traductions

Sermon preached by Pastor Vincent BOURREL on 17th April 2022

Christians gather on Sunday morning because Jesus rose on Easter Sunday. This means that the resurrection is not the epilogue to Christ’s life, but the culmination of his atoning work. Without the resurrection, the cross would have no meaning (Jesus would be just another crucified man) and we would have no hope of being saved from sin and death. 1 Cor. 15:14, 17, 19-20. « And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith … you are still in your sins … If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. » But because Jesus Christ is risen, the justice of God is satisfied, the penalty for sin has been paid, death has been conquered… 

Basically, it would be enough to prove that the resurrection did not take place for Christianity to collapse like a house of cards. 

The resurrection of Christ is an intellectual challenge, because it is not something that has been observed or reproduced by others. And to reach this conviction one must first examine the facts, then observe the reactions, and finally understand the implications. 

(la suite…)

Jesus, our Passover Lamb ( Mark 14)

Publié le 2 avril 2022 dans Traductions

Sermon preached by Julien Grenier, Agape Campus minister, on 3rd April 2022

This morning we will continue our study of the Gospel according to Mark. We have seen over and over again that Christ throughout his life identifies himself directly or indirectly as the Messiah, the Son of God.

In the first chapters he stays for three years in Galilee where he performs healings and miracles. In chapters 8, 9 and 10 he says that he has to go up to Jerusalem in order to suffer and die there, and be resurrected 3 days later. Since chapter 11 we have entered the last week of our Lord’s life, the last week that he spends in Jerusalem, the last week that is the most important of his life, the last week towards which 1500 years of Old Testament prophecies point. The last week that represents the foundation of the building that is our faith, our church… The last week in which the most important events in human history take place.

We saw in chapter 11 that on Monday, as the Jews chose and brought their flawless lambs into Jerusalem in preparation for the Passover, the Lord also brought his perfect lamb into the city in triumph. We also saw in chapter 13 that the Lord announces his return and invites his disciples ― and through them, us too ― to stay awake and pray.

And this morning we come to chapter 14 and we enter the shadow of the cross… That fateful moment when the lion of Judas takes on the form of a lamb, when we see Christ the eternal high priest sacrificing himself.

(la suite…)

Jesus, his authority over my life (Mark 11-12)

Publié le 2 avril 2022 dans Traductions

Sermon preached by Pastor Vincent Bourrel on 20th March 2022

We are continuing our series in Mark. Up until now, we have been making our way to Jerusalem, and 3 times (ch 8, 9, 10) Jesus announces that in Jerusalem he will be condemned to death, handed over to the Gentiles, who will mock him, spit on him, beat him and kill him, and then 3 days later he will rise from the dead.  

In chapter 11 Jesus enters Jerusalem and in that same week all that he announced will happen to him. On Monday Jesus enters the city triumphantly, on Tuesday he drives the sellers out of the temple, on Wednesday he tells the shocking parable and answers the trick questions of the Sanhedrin, on Thursday he has a last meal with his disciples, on Friday he is condemned and crucified and dies, and on Sunday he rises from the dead. 

Since the beginning of the gospel, Jesus’ life has been on observation, and even the demons have recognized « you are the holy one of God. » People who have witnessed his miracles have said « who is the one who obeys the wind and the sea », they have heard his words and have said, « never has a man spoken like this man », and they have seen his compassion, his grace and his power. So when he enters Jerusalem, the crowd acclaims him as the Messiah (11.9-10) and Jesus behaves as such:  

– He enters Jerusalem sitting on a colt and fulfills Zechariah 9:9. He is not a king like the others (he is humble). 

– He enters the temple, drives out the sellers and reminds us of 11.17 Is 56.7, he is the owner of the place and wants to be prayed to by all people.

– He announces the judgment of the unfruitful religious. The withered fig tree.

His authority is manifest and must be recognized or opposed. One cannot say, « What an interesting guy this Jesus is! » He is God, so he has all authority. You either accept his authority or you fight it. The chief priests and scribes have  chosen: they seek to destroy him (11:18). Why?

(la suite…)
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