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.
Sermon B-Sides - E63 - Loving Your Neighbor, and Not Loving the World
Today, the Church faces constant pressure to redefine loving our neighbors to fit with the world's definition. This tendency can undermine the Gospel. In this episode of Sermon B-Sides, Pastor Jon and Pastor Rusten discuss how redefining "sin" and "love" robs our neighbors of the truth of the Gospel: that Christ came to save us from our sin. When we do this, we compromise both the Gospel and the distinction between the Church and the world.
The Blitz - E28 - Inalienable Rights?
In this episode of The Blitz, Pastor Jon explores the meaning of inalienable rights. He also explores how the biblical worldview forms their foundation. As SCOTUS prepares to hand down decisions on abortion and vaccine mandates, the issue of inalienable rights will be front and center.
Sanctity Of Life Sunday // Genesis 1:26-27 & Psalm 106:36-45
Bible Thoughts - E37 - Maintaining the Distinction between Church and World - 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:5
Crucial to the witness of the Church in the world is maintaining the distinction between the Church and the world. In this episode of Bible Thoughts, Pastor Rusten takes a look at Paul's commands in 1 Corinthians 5:9–6:5, which are increasingly controversial in our world today.
1. Slavery and freedom
In this chapter, we are introduced to a nameless slave girl who was apparently owned by a group of people (Acts 16:19). She was also slave to a dark spirit that enabled her to tell fortunes, a lucrative business that generated a great deal of revenue for her owners. Consequently, she was a dual slave. After growing irritated, Paul rebuked the spirit that possessed her, rendering her useless to her owners, who were slaves to money. In return, they had Paul and Silas beaten up and thrown into prison. Though shackled and guarded, Paul and Silas are actually more free than even their captors.
2. According to plan
The imprisonment of Paul and Silas seems like a major defeat. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that things are working out perfectly. As a result of their imprisonment and God’s amazing rescue, a Philippian jailer and his family come to faith in Christ. The one who was responsible for their mistreatment ends up inviting them over for dinner. Indeed, God had prepared a banquet for Paul and Silas in the presence of their enemies (Psalm 23:5).
3. Our rights as citizens
After realizing that they had screwed up, the magistrates who threw Paul and Silas into prison decided to secretly let them go. One might imagine that Paul and Silas would happily make their escape, but that’s not what happened. Paul refused to let the magistrates off the hook for their mistreatment of Roman citizens. He could have easily just walked away, but instead he demanded that the magistrates own their mistake and apologize to them. Rather than escaping, Paul held the magistrates accountable for their violation of his rights as a citizen.
1. In this text we see many examples of how we can be enslaved: spirits, people, the love of money. What are some ways in which you have experienced slavery, and how has Jesus set you free?
2. The imprisonment of Paul and Silas looks like a disaster, but it ends up being a victory. How has God turned apparent disasters into victories in your life?
3. Paul refused to allow the magistrates to violate his rights as a Roman citizen. What principles can you take away from his example?
1. Timothy’s circumcision
In this text we are introduced to Timothy, the son of a Jewish Christian mother and an unbelieving Greek father. Given the mission to deliver the verdict of the Jerusalem counsel to Jews living in other regions, Timothy was circumcised. At first glance this may seem out of line with Paul’s strong words against requiring circumcision of new believers in Galatians (Galatians 2:11-16). Why, then, was Timothy circumcised? There is a fundamental difference between being circumcised out of respect, as is the case in Acts 16, and requiring circumcision for salvation, as was the case in Galatia. Works are not bad, but relying on works for salvation is inconsistent with the Gospel. The distinction matters.
2. When the Spirit says “No”
Perhaps one of the most surprising things in this text is the Spirit of God prohibiting Paul and Timothy from entering specific regions for Gospel work (Acts 16:6-7). Why would the Spirit of God keep Paul and Timothy from certain places? One reason this text offers is that God had other plans for them. Rather than Asia or Bithynai, God wanted them in Macedonia. God is all about bringing the good news of the Gospel to the entire world. But he’s not doing it all at once, nor is he doing it through a single missions team. We each play a role in God’s mission and his plans for us are particular. That means sometimes God will keep us from certain tasks in order to use us for others.
3. Lydia’s conversion
At first glance, Paul and Timothy’s interaction with Lydia may seem coincidental. They just happened to run into her at a place where people from the community gathered for prayer, and Lydia just happened to be there. However, Luke tells us that Lydia was already a believer in God, meaning she had rejected the prevalent polytheism of her day and committed herself to the monotheistic worldview of the Jewish people. But she still had not heard about Jesus. Upon hearing the news, she and her family converted and were baptized. God was at work in Lydia long before Paul and Timothy showed up, and he would continue to work in and through her long after they left.
1. What is the difference between being circumcised out of respect and being circumcised as a requirement for salvation? What are some more modern examples of this principle?
2. Has God ever closed a door in your life that made no sense at the time? Where did that closed door eventually lead you?
3. How might the story of Lydia’s conversion encourage you in mission?