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Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Stephen Nutter  |  Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Sermon1/9/17 4:21 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
I. WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF 1 PETER? [starting at 3:37 of the audio] Only recently, liberal scholars have questioned Peter’s authorship. OBJECTIONS: 1. That the Greek in 1 Peter is too polished for an uneducated fisherman. 2. That it must have been written after Peter had died, since the subject matter reflects the experience of formal persecution under the reigns of Dorian (AD 95) or Trajan (AD 112). 3. Its theology is too much like Paul’s to come from Peter. 4. It shows no evidence of the author being familiar with Jesus’ early life. ANSWERS: 1a. Peter lived in Galilee, which was a busy center of commerce. He would have been in touch with a lot of Greek speakers, as Greek was the language of trade at the time. 1b. It is possible that Silvanus wrote the epistle at Peter’s dictation (cf. 1 Pet 5:12). 2. It is not necessary to conclude that Peter’s letter reflects worldwide Christian persecution under later Roman emperors (cf. 1 Pet 1:6, 18, 4:12-13).

Sermon1/9/17 4:19 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
3a. The notion that Peter’s theology should be different than Paul’s forgets that both were inspired by the same Holy Spirit. 3b. Since Peter and Paul knew each other (Gal 2), and if tradition is correct that they labored together in Rome toward the end of their lives, we should expect their teaching to be similar. 4a. 1 Peter is written in the form of a letter, not a gospel, 4b. Peter does not intend his letter as a history of Jesus’ earthly ministry, but rather as an application of His teaching. II. WHY WAS 1 PETER WRITTEN? [20:04] He plainly states his reason in 1 Pet 5:12: “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” His approach is clearly instruction by exhortation. Further, the day of persecution was dawning upon Christ’s church. Hope is a key theme, especially the hope that enables believers to persevere and triumph amidst the trials experienced when following Christ. He wrote this letter not only to exhort, but also to testify (cf. Rom 8:17).

Sermon1/9/17 4:19 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
III. WHERE AND WHEN WAS 1 PETER WRITTEN? [27:54] 1 Pet 5:13 makes reference to Babylon, but there is no indication that the church existed in the Mesopotamian city when this was written, nor is there evidence that Peter was ever there. It could be a cryptic reference to Rome, at the time a city of power and pagan worship. Conservative scholars agree that it was written probably in AD 63, before Nero’s persecution (cf. 1 Cor 7:26, 2 Pet 1:14). IV. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE? [34:19] Those to whom Peter wrote were Christians throughout Asia Minor. 1. They were Christians. 2. They were spread over a large region. 3. They regarded themselves as strangers in the world. He applied Old Testament prophecies to his readers that foretold God’s inclusion of believing Gentiles among His new covenant people, including them among the new Israel of God. He identified them with terms that do not rightly describe converted Jews. CONCLUSION: Peter’s readers were mostly—though not exclusively—Gentile converts chosen by God and scattered throughout what is modern Turkey.

Sermon1/9/17 4:18 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS. [45:05] 1. That Peter is the author teaches us several things: that God loves to save ordinary sinners like Peter; that He doesn’t cast off saints who seriously fail, but grants them repentance and may restore them to some manner of usefulness in the church; and that He may use ordinary saints like Peter to do extraordinary things for the advancement of His Kingdom. 2. That the church is ever in need of a pure doctrine of the grace of God. This is because the doctrine of grace is abused by Antinomians, perverted by legalists, rejected by the world, and misunderstood by some professing Christians. 3. That as pilgrims and aliens, we should expect rough treatment from strangers to God’s saving grace. 4. That the gospel is suitable to sinners everywhere, Jew and Gentile alike, and that we should proclaim it to all kinds of people, since all are redeemable.

Sermon11/7/16 3:57 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
B. TO FIGHT THE PROLIFERATION OF WICKEDNESS AND TO PROMOTE A CLIMATE CONDUCTIVE TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUS KINGDOM [46:42]. Is 1:16-17 – This includes the protection of marriage and the rejection of special rights for perversion. C. TO TRUST IN THE LORD AND NOT IN MAN [48:41]. Jer 17:5-8 – The best candidate in the world is still fallen. Ps 118:8-9 – When we exalt a candidate, we dethrone God. Let us never do that. D. TO OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AS LONG AS THEY DON’T CONFLICT WITH THE LAWS OF GOD [50:49] We must render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render to the Lord what is the Lord’s. E. TO RESPECT THE RIGHTFUL AUTHORITY OF THE PERSON GOD PLACES IN POWER [51:19]. We must respect the ruler in the concrete, not just the ruler’s position in the abstract. F. TO PRAY FOR OUR CIVIL LEADERS. The Bible is plain on this. 1 Tim 2:1-2 – Paul prayed for the man who was to have him beheaded. Jer 29:7 – When we seek the welfare of our rulers, we will fare better.

Sermon11/7/16 3:57 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
B. HE RULES OVER THEIR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS [37:22]. Pr 21:1 – He can even move them against the people when He sees fit to judge them (cf. Rom 8:28). Ezra 7:27-28 – We can sometimes trace God’s work in us through His work on our rulers. Ps 105:25 – God judges the people through their ruler. Ps 146:46 – But this can move their rulers or captors to mercy. C. GOD RULES OVER THEIR POTENTIAL CURSING OR BLESSING OF A NATION [41:05]. This indicates what we say about our rulers. 1 Sam 8:4-10 – We should be careful for what we ask, as individuals and as a nation. III. YOU SHOULD APPROACH THE UPCOMING ELECTION REMEMBERING YOUR MORAL DUTIES (Pr 14:34) [44:53]. We must remember several duties: A. TO STRIVE TO PROTECT THE GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS OF THE INNOCENT AROUND US [45:23]. Pr 30:8-9 – Who does this better describe than the unborn?

Sermon11/7/16 3:55 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
3. We should avail ourselves of the protections provided by the civil government. We must remember our freedoms of speech and religious practice so as to speak and live the gospel. 4. We should use whatever means the civil government provides to legally stifle and overthrow the proliferation of wickedness and to advance the cause of righteousness in the land. We should vote for candidates who best reflect our Christian values. Pr 29:2 – Even the wicked are happier under righteous government. C. REFUSE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN BEING A CITIZEN OF HEAVEN OR A RESIDENT OF THIS WORLD [24:24]. Phil 2:14 – We still have influence and responsibility here. That includes voting. II. YOU SHOULD APPROACH THE UPCOMING ELECTION REMEMBERING WHO RULES THIS WORLD [34:40]. We must vote for the most biblically-qualified candidates and remember that God rules them. How? A. HE PLACES RULES IN AND REMOVES THEM FROM POSITIONS OF POWER [35:18]. Dan 4:35 – Nebuchadnezzar learned this the hard way. Pr 16:33 – God determines our vote, but we are to still cast it.

Sermon11/7/16 3:55 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We have a duty to vote. We must vote as Christians first, as our neighbors’ keepers, with God’s glory in mind. What perspective should guide us? I. YOU SHOULD APPROACH THE UPCOMING ELECTION REMEMBERING WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST [starting at 4:42 of the audio]. We are not our own, but Christ’s. We are dual citizens of heaven and country. As Christians, we must remember the following: A. THAT WE ARE PRIVILEGED CITIZENS OF HEAVEN (Phil 3:20) [5:44]. Heb 11:8-10, 13-16 – We must remember who we are as we walk through this life. Our hope is Christ and heaven, not candidate and country. B. THAT WE ARE TO BE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS OF THIS WORLD [12:32]. We are in the world, but not of it. David and Joseph dutifully served pagan kings. From this, we consider four basic principles. 1. We subject ourselves to civil authorities because they are established by God. Rom 13:1-5 – God appoints rulers for the praise of good and the punishment of wickedness. 2. We must obey the laws of the land where we live. Mk 12:17 – Our dual citizenship. Rom 13:6-7 – Paul doesn’t exclude any government here.

Sermon10/11/16 5:25 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 7
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
3. “Any kind of kissing between Christians is inappropriate since it may excite lustful affections.” But we can also say this about the use of our eyes, and we must use extreme caution with the opposite sex if it is a real problem. 4. “I’m natively a reserved person and such displays of affection are not natural to me.” But this isn’t dispensable. This is grace, not nature or nurture. And you are depriving yourself of a blessing from God. 5. “People will know that I love other Christians, since they can see that I love Christ, His truth, and His church.” But we must love the individuals, not just the church in the abstract. CLOSING OBSERVATIONS [56:25]. 1. Christian affection is to be displayed as well as felt. Open, demonstrative affection is not simply a privilege for some Christians; it is the blessed duty of all Christians. 2. Whether or not we show Christian affection with a kiss, our love should be evident in our interactions with them. To not display affection toward our brethren (in some obvious, appropriate manner), therefore, is sinful. 3. May our mutual affection be so obvious that is be said of our church as it was said of first century churches, “my, how they love one another!”

Sermon10/11/16 5:24 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 7
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
OUR GREETINGS SHOULD BE PHYSICAL (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, 1 Pet 5:14) [36:42]. The thought of kissing other Christians as an expression of your respect and affection might make you feel more than a little uneasy, especially if you are not an openly affectionate person. It was a standard practice in Near Eastern culture. The kiss practiced by Christians in the New Testament expressed both love and respect. First, it is holy because it is reserved for holy people; that is, for other Christians. Second, it is holy because it presumes and portrays moral purity. Acts 20:17-38 – a very pointed expression of Christian love. OBJECTIONS AND ANSWERS [49:50]. 1. “The practice of kissing, even as an expression of love and respect, is unbecoming a holy Christian living in an unholy world filled with lustful affection.” But do we let immorality stifle holy affection, which marks us as Christians? 2. “Kissing as an expression of Christian greeting and affection is merely a cultural expression that may dispensed with where it is not practice.” However, we don’t delegate holy affection to cultural norms, and we’re to practice it if it is absent from the culture.

Sermon10/11/16 5:24 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 7
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
Second, our greetings of one another should rise above the ordinary by being distinctively Christian (Mt 10:12, Eph 6:23-24). Our greetings should be distinctively Christian with the goal of encouraging believers in the Lord (Lk 1:39-44, Acts 18:22-23, 20:1, 21:7, 19-20a). Our greetings of non-Christians should be self-consciously Christian and therefore Savor of Christ (Ruth 2:4, Mt 5:47, 2 Cor 5:20). Third, churches should greet their sister assemblies, regarding them with Christian family affection (1 Cor 16:19-20). The New Testament suggests that distinctively Christian greetings should not merely be general to all members, but may also include greetings directed to specific Christians (Phil 4:21-22, Col 4:10-18). Fourth, a spirit of personal closeness and family affection should permeate our Christian greetings (Philemon 1:23, Heb 13:24, 1 Pet 5:13-14, 2 Jn 13-14). Finally, distinctively Christian greetings will express a desire that God bless those we greet (2 Tim 4:19-22, Titus 3:15).

Sermon10/11/16 5:23 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 7
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue with 6. BROTHERLY LOVE IS FRIENDLY AND AFFECTIONATE [starting at 4:37 of the audio]. Salvation comes with reconciliation between God and His new child. Though God is the source of all, this reconciliatory love is reciprocal and extends to the Christian’s new brethren (cf. 1 Pet 1:22). We are to greet one another and, more particularly, we are to greet one anther affectionately, with a holy kiss or a kiss of love. OUR GREETINGS SHOULD BE VERBAL [6:14]. First, consider the “one another” texts expressing our duty to show observable affection to our Christian brethren (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, 1 Pet 5:14). The command to “greet one another” is found in all these texts. We may observe from the command to “greet one another” that 1) greetings are verbal and demonstrable, and 2) that greetings display friendliness, respect, affection, or receptiveness toward the person greeted. Some principles to deduce from this: First, if non-Christians show one another kindness, respect, and affection in their greetings, surely Christians should not be outdone by unbelievers in their affectionate greetings of one another (Mt 5:47, Acts 25:13).

Sermon10/10/16 5:20 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 8
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
1 PETER 5:5 [43:25]. This command urges three things: that the younger men submit to the pastors, that the rest humble themselves so that they may live in mutual submission to one another, and that the incentive of experiencing the grace and not the opposition of God. ROMANS 12:10 [48:12]. Notice how Paul likens giving preference to our brethren in honor to being devoted to them in brotherly love. Surely, the cross of Christ is the supreme example of devoted love as demonstrated in giving preference to others in honor. Gen 13:9 – God honors the humble. Jesus promises that God will honor those who humbly prefer others before themselves (cf. Lk 14:10). CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS [52:55]. 1. We must first know Christ before we can exhibit the humility and submissiveness of Christ. 2. Following Jesus’ example, we must regard no act of Christian service beneath our dignity. 3. Let each of us mortify the pride and self-esteem that keeps us from preferring one another. 4. He who wishes honor in the church must first learn to find honor in service.

Sermon10/10/16 5:20 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 8
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
Third, Paul presents us with the great model and motive for obeying the command: the self-denial of our Lord in vv. 5-8. Jesus’ humble attitude toward God (His equal) and toward us (who are infinitely beneath Him in dignity) is to be our attitude toward our brethren. Jesus regarded His equal dignity with God as belonging to Himself as God (v. 6). Even though knowing Himself to be God in all of His essential dignity and glory, our Lord condescended to our need by taking the form of a servant in order to die for sinners (vv. 7-8). Jesus showed that He regarded us as more important than Himself by descending the ladder of humiliation to save us. The first rung was His departure from glory, the second was His incarnation, the third was His servanthood, and the fourth was His self-sacrifice. EPHESIANS 5:21 [34:32]. Note four things about this command: the assumption that we must be filled with the Holy Spirit to obey it, the command itself to be subject to other Christians, its extension to all Christians throughout the body of Christ, and the reverence necessary to obey it. Without the fear of Christ ruling in our hearts, not only will we not be submissive to the Lord, but we will not be submissive to one another.

Sermon10/10/16 5:19 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 8
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue with 7. BROTHERLY LOVE IS HUMBLE AND SUBMISSIVE. Biblical truth is foreign to the natural man. God’s plan of redemption makes no sense to him, neither in part nor in whole. Even the Christian experiences some incomprehensibility. So can we not imitate Christ? Rom 13:14, Eph 4:24, and Col 3:10-12 command us to do so. Jn 6:38 – Christ came to do God’s will, not His own. In this case, He died for our sins. We examine four helpful texts. PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 [starting at 13:00 of the audio]. Two inescapable realities call forth this command: that we remain a proud, self-serving people even after we are saved, and that a holy church – a church in which the members strive to be Christ-like – will be composed of members who seek to serve each other before themselves. First, notice that the command is stated negatively by way of two prohibitions. Selfishness involves an attitude of self-seeking, self-interest, and ambition. Empty conceit is evident in a boastful spirit, vain pride and groundless boasting. Second, the command is stated positively, by way of exhortation. The scope of this duty applies to all Christians. No Christian is excused. The attitude required to obey the command is “humility of mind”. Only the humble regard others as more important than themselves.

Sermon10/10/16 2:31 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 9
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
FOURTH, LET US USE OUR TONGUES TO STIMULATE THE GRATEFUL WORSHIP OF OUR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN [44:19]. Eph 5:19-20 – Before God saves us, our foul hearts are sanctuaries of self and our profane tongues are employed in anything but divine praise. A Holy church is a happy church. And a happy church is a grateful church. A grateful church is composed of members that stimulate one another to thankful praise. We must ask ourselves what is the default spirit of our hearts. CONCLUDING QUESTIONS [51:00]. 1. Do you speak only the truth to your Christian brethren? Are we scrupulously honest (as opposed to brutally honest, which the Bible doesn’t condone)? 2. Do you strive to speak only that which builds up your Christian brethren? 3. Do you confess your sins to your brethren and pray for them? Pride prevents such confession, even in the face of those we offend. 4. Do you seek to encourage a spirit of worship in your Christian brethren? Do you have a complaining spirit or a thankful spirit?

Sermon10/10/16 2:30 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 9
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
SECOND, LET US USE OUR TONGUES TO BUILD UP AND NOT TEAR DOWN OUR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN [28:20]. Jas 4:11 – In seeking to understand James’ prohibition, we will answer a number of questions. First, what specifically is forbidden? Setting ourselves up as judges of the brethren. Second, to what law do such Christians appeal? Either Pharisaical law or unwarranted legalism. Third, why are we prohibited from speaking against our brethren? Because we ultimately judge God Himself when we do. We will stand in front of the Father, not the brethren. THIRD, LET US USE OUR TONGUES TO CONFESS OUR SINS AND TO PRAY FOR OUR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN [35:33]. Jas 5:16 – If you are a Christian, God has sanctified your tongue that you may use that little organ for sacred purposes like confession your sins and praying, confessing not only to God but also to your Christian brethren, and for interceding for them. First, we must confess our sins to one another, especially our public sins and sins committee against our brethren. Second, we must pray for one another. We must keep short accounts with God and with our brethren. We must not only forgive our sin-confessing brethren, but we must also pray for them. If we don’t forgive them, we will find it hard to seek God’s face for them.

Sermon10/10/16 2:30 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Brethren - 9
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue with 8. BROTHERLY LOVE SPEAKS WHAT IS HELPFUL AND NOT HARMFUL. The things we say reveal a lot about our hearts. Mt 12:35-37 – We will be held to account for our words. The Book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom about the use of the tongue. We examine four advices regarding this critical matter. FIRST, LET US USE OUR TONGUES TO SPEAK TRUTHFULLY AND HONESTLY TO OUR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN [starting at 12:49 of the audio]. Eph 4:25, Col 3:9 – Paul plainly teaches that since we are no longer pagans, but new creatures in Christ, we must not continue in the sins that once characterized us—including lying to one another. Let us first take apart Paul’s exhortations. He assumes that we are liars before we are saved. This is because the father of lies was our father. A new Christian who has long been in the practice of lying before his conversion may find that consistently telling the truth is difficult, but not impossible with the aid of the Holy Spirit (who is the Spirit of Truth). We deduce three things from this: we must be scrupulously honest in all relationships; we must always do our best to know the exact truth about anything that might affect our neighbor, especially before we repeat it to one another; and we must keep our promises.

Sermon9/6/16 5:44 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
C. RELATIONSHIP TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD [44:15]. Mt 10:32-33, Phil 2:13-14, 1 Pet 3:13-15 – We should not be ashamed to speak about our Lord and to live as worthy of the message before men. Living Christians are peculiar and people will notice and ask about it eventually. They probably notice it most in our keeping of the Lord’s Day. II. TO THOSE WITHOUT CHRIST [51:32]. Lk 11:23 – The only way to be a Christian is to be a disciple. It is not enough to believe the basics about Him. It means taking up the cross and relinquishing the dispositions of our hearts. Is 55:6 – “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”

Sermon9/6/16 5:43 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
3. Learn to abide in Christ [32:12]. Jn 15:1-15 – A branch can’t live apart from the tree. Without Him, we can do nothing. Rom 12:1-2 encapsulates this point: we are to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. We are not Gnostics: we can give our souls without our bodies, but not our bodies without our souls. If we are conformed to the world, it will be evident in our actions. B. CHURCH INVOLVEMENT [36:18]. 1. Christians are not meant to go it alone. Eph 4:1-17 – We as believers are placed in a body, and we each make a contribution to the whole. Acts 2:42 – Christians carry on their lives together. Heb 10:24 – A caution against forsaking the brethren. It leads directly to apostasy. 2. Work diligently to maintain the unity of the Spirit [39:51]. Eph 4:1 – Unity takes work; it isn’t spontaneous. When someone seems to be fading away, take the effort to bring them back. 3. Identify and exercise your particular gifts [42:26]. 1 Pet 4:10-11 – Our gifts were given to us to give to the brethren. 4. Commit yourself to the centrality of preaching and prayer in your congregational life [43:05]. Anyone who threatens this in the church is an enemy to the Christian soul.

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