98 episodes

Welcome to the weekly audio podcast for Garden City Church in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find and listen to messages from our weekend worship gatherings here. It's our hope that these messages encourage you to know and love God more, and to live out your faith well in your local communities.

Garden City Church Garden City Church Pittsburgh

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Welcome to the weekly audio podcast for Garden City Church in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find and listen to messages from our weekend worship gatherings here. It's our hope that these messages encourage you to know and love God more, and to live out your faith well in your local communities.

    Break Every Chain: Every Knee Must Bow

    Break Every Chain: Every Knee Must Bow

    The legal system exists to maintain the status quo; it almost always has. It is often controlled by self-serving, powerful, rich individuals and corporate interests who like how things are and want to keep them that way. When prophets come who point out flaws in the system, it feels threatened, and the system seeks to stamp out critique and dissent with extreme force and a thin veneer of legality. Little did those systems know that the Jesus Revolution could not be killed: crucifixion only paves the way for resurrection, and a people willing to suffer and love against all odds, in the power and name of the Spirit, can endure and overcome injustice. Ever since Pentecost, every time those Spirit-filled people have formed non-violent, enemy-loving movements outside of the system, the world has changed, and the systems have been forced to bow in a prophetic nod to Jesus' second coming. Will you bow? Will you live in Him and for Him, and welcome His soon return? This week, Benjamin Chua walks our church through Acts 24.

    • 40 min
    Love is the Antidote

    Love is the Antidote

    This week Carrie Buckner continues our series on Acts, talking through Acts 23:12-22. It's the story of a plan concoted by a group of Jewish religious zealots (or, Jewish nationalists) that reached to the highest levels of the Jewish religious system. The people to whom God entrusted His law and now openly planning to break it. How do people, especially people who claim to love, follow, and represent God, succumb to and participate in the type of zealotry that embraces political violence, bearing false witness, and murder? How do people reach a point of subordinating their religious convictions to achieve their political desires? These are questions that faced Jewish people in and around Jerusalem in the first century, as well as Christians here in America today.

    • 33 min
    Serpents and Doves

    Serpents and Doves

    Jesus instructed His disciples to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. In Acts 22:22-29 (NIV) the apostle Paul is living these words. He was lynched in the Temple and then arrested and at no point did he fight back or physically defend himself. He was gentle. And now, he's about to be tortured by the Roman state when he asks a soldier, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?" It's a shrewd question. Paul knows it's illegal for a Roman to be flogged when they haven't been proven guilty in a court. He's leveraging his privileged status as a citizen to advance the Kingdom. In our current cultural moment, it's a timely lesson for all of us. This week Pastor Shaq Hager walks us through what it means to be gentle and wise, willing to sacrifice our bodies, like Paul, for the sake of the Kingdom.

    • 30 min
    An Elusive Dream

    An Elusive Dream

    Paul knows the Gospel crosses every boundary and eradicates racial and ethnic hatred. He's given his life to proclaiming a Gospel that knits Jews and Gentiles into a new "family" rooted in Jesus. And yet, in Acts 21:37-22:22, when Paul tells a crowd of Jews who are zealous for the law that God sent him to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles they shout, "Rid the earth of him! He's not fit to live!" These Jews embraced a segregationist theology that told them who was superior and who was inferior based on ethnicity. It's a theology still at work in our country and churches today. Building a multi-ethnic church is an elusive dream. But it's always been God's vision to knit together a multi-ethnic, multi-racial people founded in Jesus. This week Pastor Dennis Allan talks through how the church is meant to be a signpost to the world that, in Jesus, unity and equality are possible.

    • 38 min
    When Religion and Politics Collide

    When Religion and Politics Collide

    This week, Pastor Dennis walks through Acts 21:26-36. Paul is in Jerusalem, trying to prove to the Jewish Christians who are "zealous for the law" that he isn't trying to abolish the law. In fact, while Paul is actively observing and upholding the law he's captured and beaten in the temple by a crowd of "law-observing" Jews. We see in this passage what can happen when people believe their political desires align with God's will for a nation. We can embrace the false idea that "the ends justify the means," which is not a way of living or being we ever see Jesus embrace. We are oftentimes "zealous for Jesus" until He becomes an obstacle to our worldly pursuits. So, how then are we to live and act? This story begins helping us figure out what faithfulness to Jesus might look like in this fraught political and cultural moment in America?
    *This sermon includes an excerpt of Rage Against the Machine's song, "Killing in the Name," which is available on Apple Music here.

    • 41 min
    What Kind of Christian Are You?

    What Kind of Christian Are You?

    This week Benjamin Chua walked through the story of Paul's return to Jerusalem in Acts 21:17-25. Almost immediately after entering Jerusalem, Paul learns the church there is fiercely enthusiastic for the law, not Jesus. For the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem their belief wasn't rooted in the foundational story of God's covenant family culminating in Jesus and looking ahead to the fullness of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, but in a rigid, backwards-looking interpretation of the law, in which they used Jesus to rubber-stamp their rule-following theology. The church is to be a community cradled in the love of God, with love for one another. This is what Paul fought for and it's what we should fight for, too.
    *The music at the end of the sermon is "3 Hours of Soaking in His Presence" by William Augusto. The full song can be found here.

    • 37 min

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