(Acts 16:6-15)God, the Bible, and pure Christianity are not demeaning to women or chauvinistic, but regard women highly as an indispensible part of God's creation and team to carry out God's redemptive purposes in the world through worship, faithfulness, hospitality, and service as exemplified in people like Lydia
(Acts 16:1-5) We see in Timothy a model of what some desirable characteristics are in a Christian who is godly and able to effectively fulfill God's purposes. These qualities include a discipleship that results in a good reputation in one who is willing to go the distance to connect and identify with people out of love and kindness
(Acts 15:19-41) The ideal for the church is for it to be unified, which does not necessarily mean uniformity in all things. When we have differing convictions, we need to be open and up front about it, and honor the judgment call of leaders who graciously work toward having unity so that the church can be edified and continue sharing the Gospel to the world.
As Christians, we avoid buying into the lie that romantic, erotic, and other kinds of love does not come from Hollywood, Hallmark or any other place of this world, which has a tendency to twist and distort what God has created as very good. True love comes from God who expresses his intense love for us in various ways, including betrothal and marriage. Love, including romantic love, is a reflection of God, and is very good when exercised in according with God's design.
Sermon by Tommy Herken to prepare the congregation in the search for a new minister at the Leavenworth Church of Christ.
(Acts 15:1-35) When people who are "different" choose to believe in Christ and accept his lordship, we need to remember that salvation is extended by Christ equally and in the same way to them and us by his grace, and that God values all humans and extends redemption to them equally, regardless of ethnicity, culture, social status, etc. Therefore, the church, in all its diversity, is one in Christ.
(Acts 13:42-14:28) To avoid being paralyzed by intimidation, fear and shame, we need to remember that persecution and opposition is normative for the Christian life because no one can stay neutral when confronted with the life altering message that says we must turn from vain things to serve the true God. Our response to persecution may be to stay or go, depending on what will further the spread of the Gospel, and to encourage the brethren, reminding them that God is near.
(Acts 13:13-43) The Bible provides not only the message, but models for how to present the message of Christ. God’s message is presented as God bringing about his purposes throughout history up till the present time with Jesus the promised Messiah as the focal point because he was crucified and demonstrated to be the fulfillment of God’s promises when he raised from the dead. Therefore, he is the only savior who can free us from sin, which means that acceptance or denial has eternal consequences. This is our story and message.