Coram Deo is a non-denominational church in Bremerton, Washington that exists to love God, connect people, and change the world. Follow our podcast for the latest sermons, classes and other content to help you grow in the historic Christian faith.
1. Prayer is vitally important for the life of the Church.
Jesus was crucified and then rose on the third day just as he promised. He commissioned his Church to bear witness to the world regarding the Gospel. Then he ascended back to heaven. The disciples had personally witnessed all of this. What is the next thing we find them doing? Praying! Prayer was something they had learned to devote themselves to. As the story of Acts unfolds, we will see how prayer is vitally important for the life of the Church.
2. The Scriptures were the final authority in the early Church. (Sola Scriptura)
Judas had betrayed Jesus and ended up taking his own life. This left a void among the disciples that needed to be filled. How did the early Church find their way through this challenge? They looked to the Scriptures for wisdom and instruction and submitted themselves to what the Scriptures taught. Remember that at this point, there was no New Testament. The early Church had only the Old Testament Scriptures. They did not act as if the events of Jesus’ life had somehow made the Old Testament outdated or irrelevant. Rather, they sought out God’s wisdom from the Old Testament and submitted themselves to it. The whole counsel of God must always have the final and ultimate say in the life of the Church. This is Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone).
1. How do you think you would feel if you personally witnessed the resurrected Jesus ascending back to heaven?
2. We read in Acts 1:14 that the early Church was unified in their devotion to prayer. Why do you think this was the case? What is currently keeping you from being devoted to prayer?
3. How do you tend to think about the Old Testament? Is it outdated? Irrelevant? Confusing? Impractical? What can we learn from the example of the early Church in regards to how we approach the Old Testament?
B-Sides - Episode 20 - Advent: PEACE OUT 2020!
Coming out of 2020, one of the most volatile years many of us have experienced, we are all hungry for peace. Our politicians are promising peace, and yet we recall the words of Jeremiah when he said "They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace" and are reminded that so often those peddling peace are also those who historically have been the greatest troublers of a nation. It was under the Pax Romana (the infamous Peace of Rome) that Christ was crucified after all. In this episode, Pastor Jon & Rusten discuss the Peace that Christ came to bring in contrast to the volatility of our times and the broken promises of politicians. If you have any questions you would like us to address in future episodes go to slido.com and put in the code coramdeo.
1. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are foundational to the book of Acts.
The book of Acts includes numerous incredible stories. Thousands of people are converted to Christ. Sometimes people get healed. At other times Christians get beat up and thrown into prison. There are frequent riots incited by Gospel preaching. Churches get planted. But everything that occurs in Acts is a consequence of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus, Acts makes no sense.
2. The book of Acts is about the continued work of Jesus in his Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is common for people to think of Acts as a record of the acts of the Apostles or the acts of the early Church. This is understandable as Acts does give us a front row seat to the first century Church. However, Luke makes it clear that Acts is about the continued work of Jesus in his Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like the rest of the Bible, Acts is primarily about Jesus.
3. The Church bears witness to the acts of Jesus.
What is the purpose and mission of the Church in the world? According to Acts, Jesus intends for his Church to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. This means that the Church is a community of people that speak the truth regarding the life, death, burial, resurrection, and reign of Jesus over all things.
1. Why do you think Luke mentions the “many proofs” of Jesus’ resurrection?
2. What does this text teach us about the importance of the Holy Spirit?
3. What were Jesus’ disciples distracted by in this text? What tends to distract you?
4. What does Jesus tell us about the purpose of the Church?
5. What does Luke tell us to expect in the future regarding Jesus? Why does that matter?
B-Sides - Episode 19 - Advent: Joy & Ultimate Reality
For Christians, joy is not accidental, superfluous, or a distraction. In this episode, Pastor Jon and Pastor Rusten discuss how the joy and delight of the triune God was the context for the creation of all things, how our misery is due to our estrangement from him, and how the redemption Christ accomplished for us brings us into his joy. They also discuss how Christian fellowship and worship is an essential aspect of this joy. If you have any questions you would like us to address in future episodes go to slido.com and put in the code coramdeo.
1. Luke/Acts are based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life It is not uncommon for people to think of Christianity as a set of values or morals. While the Christian faith certainly profoundly affects the way in which a person thinks about values and morals, Christianity is not primarily about values or morals. Rather, Christianity is primarily concerned with the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christianity is based on public historical events that were witnessed by many others, researched by Luke, a doctor, and recorded for us to read. The stories contained in Luke/Acts are not meant to simply warm our hearts. They are meant to be read and received as historical eyewitness accounts of events that actually took place. Either they happened or they didn’t. There is no other option.
2. There are enough eyewitness accounts and information available to provide us with certainty regarding the person and work of Jesus. Luke/Acts was written by Luke for a man named Theophilus. While we cannot be sure exactly who this person was, it is clear that Luke believed that his thorough research and documentation of Jesus’ life was sufficient to provide Theophilus, and all other readers, with certainty regarding Jesus and his Gospel. Luke does not tell us to trust our own hearts or to seek out our own truth. Rather, he tells us to trust the facts, the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection that were witnessed by many and recorded for our own benefit.
1. What does Luke tell us about the reliability of his research work regarding Jesus?
2. How does this affect the way you might approach reading Luke/Acts?
3. How do Luke’s sources and material compare to what modern people might write regarding Jesus?
4. What does Luke hope will be the result of our study of his work in Luke/Acts?
B-Sides - Episode 18 - Advent: Love, Love, Love
During this episode of B-Sides, Pastor Jon and Pastor Rusten discuss the Advent theme of Love. Though our culture puts a high value on love, often our conception of love is contrary to that which Scripture teaches. In what ways does the love revealed by Christmas and the incarnation confront our understanding of love? Join us in this episode as we discuss the surprising love of God. If you have any questions you would like us to address in future episodes go to slido.com and put in the code coramdeo.