Walking in Two Worlds: Birthday Presence

Walking in Two Worlds: Birthday Presence Sermon Audio Here


Ezekiel 37:24-28; Romans 8:22-27

Pentecost is often considered the Church’s birthday. And often, on birthdays, gifts are given. Two of the ways of determining if a gift is a good are 1) it significantly represents the giver; and 2) it meets the needs/wants of the receiver.

Every Christian Can Receive Two Gifts From God

The Promise of Presence
Ezek. 27:24-28

  • v24/25 God’s promise to exiled Israel: you WILL be together
  • v26 you WILL be at peace
  • v27/28 you WILL live with God

The Presence in Prayer
Rom. 8:22-27

  • v22/23 God’s promise to all of us: you WILL be redeemed
  • v24/25 you WILL have hope
  • v26/27 you WILL have help

How does this help us today? When we realize that God keeps His promises based on WHO HE IS, not who we are, they become anchor points in our lives. We don’t need to worry about what our future will hold; even if times get tough, we know that God will bring us through. We can also hold on to those benefits RIGHT NOW; our hope isn’t JUST about our eventual salvation; it’s about experiencing God’s presence and help every day, if we’ll just submit to the Spirit.

Walking in Two Worlds: Assurance Policy

Walking in Two Worlds: Assurance Policy Sermon Audio Here


Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13

As a new believer in the early 80’s, I was challenged to join an Evangelism Explosion group at my church. It taught us the basics of how to share our faith. One of the most impactful lessons I learned in that time was the assurance of my salvation, based on 1 John 5:13. I learned that I didn’t have to hope, guess, or wonder if I was saved – I could KNOW.

How Does God Give Us Assurance?

A Promise and a Warning
Psalm 1:1-6

  • v1 Blessed if you DON’T…
  • v2 what you DO
  • v3 what you’re like
  • v4/5 Other side of the coin
  • v6 Warning: Righteous Way is Watched; Wicked Way is Botched!

A Warning and a Promise
1 John 5:9-13

  • v9 God’s testimony trumps ours
  • v10 we can’t passively ignore God; disbelief is active choice
  • v11/12 God’s facts:
  •     1) eternal life is a gift;
  •     2) gift is in the Son;
  •     3) accept gift and live;
  •     4) reject gift and we’re on our own
  • v13 No more guessing: if we have the Son, we have eternal life
  • (we’re just stuck in the temporal life for now)

2 Cor. 4:17 reminds us that our difficulties are light and momentary; they threaten to overwhelm us – but they are just temporary – keep an eye out for the eternal

Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic?

Walking in Two Worlds: Kingdom or Republic? Sermon Audio Here


1 John 5:1-6

In 1908, Methodist pastor Lynn Harold Hough wrote a pledge for the new (at the time) Christian Flag: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and in love.

The concept of pledging allegiance (to a flag, or a concept, or a nation) brings to mind the question:

What Shapes Our Kingdom Citizenship?

We are marked by obedience
1 John 5:1-2 Obedience sets us apart as Kingdom People

  • v1 belief is our birthright; brotherly love is our response
  • v2 love is shown by obedience

We are motivated through obedience
1 John 5:3-4 Kingdom work is empowering

  • v3 obedience is NOT obligation (not have to, but want to)
  • v4 faith enables our obedience, and so we can overcome

Jesus modeled obedience
1 John 5:5-6 Jesus’ ministry was obedience to the Father

  • v5 to win at life, you need faith
  • v6 water of baptism; blood of the cross;
  • – both acts of submission to the Father

We are called to live as subjects of a Kingdom even as we live as members of a republic. The key to this balancing act is submission: we submit to the Father, and because of that, are empowered to be His servants in a hurting world.

Walking in Two Worlds: Love in Action

Walking in Two Worlds: Love in Action Sermon Audio Here


1 John 3:16-24

This Sunday is our congregation’s Youth Sunday. Our teens are providing all of the ministry functions in the service, from Lay Leader to leading music in worship, taking the offering, and running the Fellowship Hour. Three of our students – Isabelle W., Wyatt N., and Elizabeth B. were challenged to share their thoughts about Love in Action from today’s Scripture.

The difference between TALKING about love and WALKING in love

We Are Called To Walk
verses 16-17, from Isabelle W.

  • v16 talking about love and what Jesus SHOWED us it means
  • v17 are being called to do to WALK in the love he gave us
  • cf. 1 Thess. 5:11-14 (encourage one another)
  • cf. 1 Cor. 13:3 (without love we gain nothing);
  • cf. Eph. 4:21-32 ( being made new);
  • cf. 1 John 4-20 (summary on loving one another)

We Are Called To Truth
verses 18-20, from Wyatt N.

  • v18 can’t just say you’re Christian; you must uphold God’s word
  • v19 if we’re saved, we must pursue The Father
  • v20 we must lift up the Father higher than we hold our selves

We Are Called To Believe
verses 21-23, from Elizabeth B.

  • v21 share w/ Christ freely about what is on our heart
  • v22 when we ask in God’s will, we receive more than we know
  • v23 invest our love in each other


We Are Called By The Spirit
verse 24, from Pastor Ed

  • v24 We don’t carry out God’s commands in OUR strength alone.
  • cf. II Cor. 12:9 – powerful ability in weakness is completed;

the presence of the Spirit makes this possible

Walking in Two Worlds: Chipping Away

Walking in Two Worlds: Chipping Away Sermon Audio Here


1 John 3:1-7

In a Youtube video (scroll to the bottom) presented by two actors known as the Skit Guys, they present “God’s Chisel”. It is a great reminder that God is the Master Sculptor, and is bringing about the image of Christ in us.

During Our Journey Together,
God is working on us
1 John 3:1-2 (we are in process)

  • v1a God calls us in love
  • 1b realize our new identity
  • v2a we *are*, AND *will become*
  • 2b shaped to be like Jesus

We are working WITH God
1 John 3:3-7 (we participate in the process)

  • v3 we share in God’s shaping
  • v4/5 Jesus carries away our rubble
  • v6 consistently choosing sin over Christ? Not His!
  • v7 the righteous DO right BECAUSE Jesus is at work

His righteousness works its way out in us when we cooperate with it; when we live as identifying Christ at work in us, we see God at work in us, and join Him in it – and that work is making us to be more like Jesus.

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk Sermon Audio Here


1 John 1:1-2:2

    Phil Keaggy – Walking in Two Worlds

When you walk in two worlds
Hold your head up high
When you walk in two worlds
Keep your sights to the sky.

Remember you’re in this place
But of another race
You move to a different pace
The drumbeat of the sky
Walking in two worlds.

As We Journey Together,

Start from a Place of Life
1 John 1:1-4

  • v1 we are eyewitnesses
  • v2 of eternal life
  • v3 which brings us into fellowship with God and each other
  • v4 complete=play-ro-oo=CRAMMED FULL

Continue in a Way of Light
1 John 1:5-2:2

  • v5/6 light is truth
  • v7 walk in the open
  • v8 “if we lay out that we are not sinners”
  • v9 when we lay claim to our sin, it no longer defines us
  • v10 but we NEED to admit our sin
  • v1/2 Jesus has paid for our sin – for ALL sin

There is POWER in confession – when we admit that we do NOT have it all together, we also have to admit that the only thing which gets us through the journey is the grace of Christ in us – and it’s available for EVERYONE.

Up From The Grave He Arose!

Up From The Grave He Arose! Sermon Audio Here

Isaiah 25:6-9; John 20:19-31

For many children, the highlight of Easter morning is the Easter Basket. For many parents, the choices on what to put IN the Easter Basket are overwhelming. While retailers put pastel colored candy and toys front and center, other voices advocate for different choices: art supplies instead of candy; vegan alternatives to eggs; even replacing the basket itself with a backpack or canvas storage container.

All of this attention on what’s in the Easter basket begs the question:

What Does God Give Us on Easter?

The Promise of Restoration ~ Isa. 25:6-9

  • v7 we are shrouded- covering of death
  • v8 we WILL be restored- tears wiped away
  • v9 let us rejoice- our intentional response

The Peace in Reception ~ John 20:19-23

  • v19 we can choose to live in fear
  • v20 we can choose to look at the Lord instead
  • v21/22/23 we can have peace when we receive what Jesus gives

The Principle of Reliance ~ John 20:24-31

  • v24/25 we tend to rely on ourselves
  • v26/27 Jesus knows our tendency for self-reliance
  • v28/29 reliance upon God is a blessing
  • v30/31 reliance upon God gives us life-removes the shroud

Are you living under a shroud? Is your self-reliance keeping you from life? Jesus rolled away the stone and left His shroud behind; He can do it for YOU, too!


Pastor Ed Backell

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