Sermon series

The Apostles’ Creed

Always Springtime in Heaven: I Believe in Life Everlasting

II Corinthians 5:8 – July 4, 2004

This is the final message in the series on the Apostles’ Creed. When we started in January, there was snow on the ground. We end on a hot summer Sunday in July. Our church theme this year is “Back to Basics,” and our theme verse is Jude 20, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up […]

The Hardest Doctrine to Believe: “The Resurrection of the Body”

I Corinthians 15 – June 27, 2004

Thirteen years ago I traveled to Russia with John and Helen Sergey. For 17 days we traveled from Leningrad to Moscow to the Volga River. While we were in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), I met Art DeKruyter, the founding pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook, a Chicago suburb a few miles west of Oak […]

The Positive Power of Forgiveness: “I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins”

Psalm 130:3-4 – June 13, 2004

If you know a bit about church history, you know that before Martin Luther became the father of the Protestant Reformation, he was a Catholic priest. As part of his training, he spent years studying Greek, Hebrew, Latin, the church fathers, and the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. By all accounts, he was brilliant, […]

All One Body We: “The Communion of Saints”

Hebrews 12:1 – June 6, 2004

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).   In 1979 John Bass interviewed Ronald Reagan as he was preparing to run for […]

God Has a Big Family—Part 2 “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church”

Ephesians 4:1-6 – May 30, 2004

“I believe in the holy catholic church.” The Apostles’ Creed   Let’s begin at the most basic point. What does the word “church” mean? In the New Testament the word “church” translates the Greek word ekklesia, which itself comes from two other Greek words that mean “out of” and “to call.” When you put those […]

God Has a Big Family—Part 1 “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church”

Matthew 16:18 – May 23, 2004

Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 ESV).   The Apostles’ Creed says, “I believe in the holy catholic church.” People say, “I like Jesus, but I don’t care for the church.” “I believe in God, but I don’t believe in the church.” […]

When God Comes Near: “I Believe in the Holy Spirit”

John 7:37-39 – May 16, 2004

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who […]

The Up and Coming Christ: “He Will Come Again to Judge the Living and the Dead”

John 14:1-3; II Peter 3:3-10 – May 9, 2004

You never know where you will find spiritual truth. A few days ago I received a letter from Mary Jo Lynch. Thirty-five years ago, she lived with her husband Dudley in my hometown of Russellville, Alabama. Dudley Lynch pastored a tiny Cumberland Presbyterian Church built near a strip mine on state highway 24 between Russellville […]

A Friend in High Places: “He Ascended into Heaven and Sits at the Right Hand of God the Father Almighty”

Various – April 25, 2004

This is one of the most remarkable statements in the Apostles’ Creed and it is also one of the most neglected areas of Christian doctrine. Even though we (along with all Christians) believe in the ascension of Christ, we tend not to think about it very much, at least when compared to the death and […]

Going All In: “The Third Day He Rose from the Dead”

I Corinthians 15:17-19 – April 11, 2004

Dr. Billy Graham once told Time magazine, “If I were an enemy of Christianity, I would aim right at the Resurrection, because that is the heart of Christianity.”   The founder of the Jesus seminar, Dr. Robert Funk, offers a perfect example of what Billy Graham was talking about. This is how Dr. Funk explains […]

The Strangest Part of the Creed: He Descended into Hell

I Peter 3:18-19 – April 4, 2004

What happened to Jesus between his death and resurrection? We know his body was buried, but what about his spirit? Where was he and what was he doing between his death at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and his resurrection sometime before sunrise on Sunday morning? Christians have wondered about these things for 2,000 years. The […]

God’s Scapegoat: “Buried”

Leviticus 16 – March 28, 2004

“I believe in Jesus Christ ¼ who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.” The Apostles’ Creed   This is a sermon based on a word that doesn’t seem necessary. We know Jesus died. We know he rose from the dead. If we know what happened on Friday and we know what […]

The Day God Died: “Crucified, Died”

Hebrews 9-10 – March 21, 2004

The Apostles’ Creed contains four phrases that refer to the death of Jesus Christ: Crucified, Died, Buried, Descended into Hell.   If you think about it, this seems redundant, especially in a Creed where the entire Christian faith is presented in approximately 110 words. Why are six words used to describe the death of Christ […]

The Man Who Killed Jesus: “Suffered Under Pontius Pilate”

Isaiah 53 – February 29, 2004

This has been a week unlike any other in my lifetime. Last Wednesday the new movie by Mel Gibson, “The Passion of the Christ,” premiered around the country. For various reasons the film has stirred up enormous controversy. That morning I turned on the news to see what was happening in the world. On CBS […]

Why the Virgin Birth Matters: “Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary”

Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 – February 22, 2004

Let’s begin our study with two familiar verses of Scripture:   “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy […]

The Incomparable Christ: “Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord”

Philippians 2:9-11 – February 15, 2004

Who is Jesus Christ? Of all the questions that might be posed to modern men and women, none is more important than this. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the central question of history and the most important issue anyone will ever face. Who is Jesus Christ? Where did he come from? […]

Not by Chance: “Maker of Heaven and Earth”

Revelation 4:11 – February 1, 2004

If you leave God out, you’ve missed the fundamental truth about the universe. That means that in order to understand human origins and the true history of the universe, we must begin

Who’s in Charge Here? “I Believe in God the Father Almighty”

Various – January 25, 2004

All week long I’ve been thinking about the phrase “Father Almighty” and trying to decide what it really means. It’s a fascinating question because the Apostles’ Creed compresses the entire nature of God into just two words—"Father Almighty.” The framers of the Creed were telling us that if we comprehend the meaning of those two […]

The Greatest Risk You’ll Ever Take: "I Believe in God”

Hebrews 11:6 – January 18, 2004

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).   The Bible declares God’s existence. It does not attempt to prove it. Certain things are so true that philosophers call them “properly basic.” […]

You Are What You Believe: Why the Apostles’ Creed Matters

Romans 1:16 – January 11, 2004

This sermon gives the history of how the Apostles’ Creed came about and explains the importance it has in the Christian church throughout history as well as in our individual lives. The Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of faith recognized by all branches of true Christianity. For 2,000 years the Apostles’ Creed has served as a succinct statement of the irreducible minimum of the Christian faith. It is the common heritage of the true Christian church. It offers a broad survey of Christian doctrine, that focuses all on God as the object of the faith, and what he has done for believers. In this declaration of beliefs, the God of the Christian church is sharply distinguished from the gods of other religions by what he has done for his believers. The authority of these statements of belief embodied in the Apostles’ Creed lies entirely on the Word, that is the Bible, and not on any personal or private interpretations. It follows then that a person who professes to be a Christian must therefore subscribe or believe in everything stated in this creed, at the very least, as a start of what the Christian must believe. The Creed reminds us that truth is not optional. There are boundaries to the Christian faith. Not everything is negotiable. Some things must be believed if you are to call yourself a Christian. You can choose to live outside those boundaries, but if you do, you aren’t a Christian and you shouldn’t call yourself one.

Back to Basics

John 7:16-17 – January 4, 2004

Each year at Calvary we choose a theme and a theme verse that serve as our ministry focus. We started doing that in 1991 and have continued every year since then. Sometimes we don’t know until October or November what our theme for the next year will be. And sometimes there is quite a bit […]

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