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Rejoicing and Weeping - Romans 12:13-15

Here is God’s dream for every church. That through preaching the gospel men and women everywhere can experience the life-changing power of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And to be the kind of place where, no matter what kind of week you’ve had, you can come in and say, “Ahh, I’ve made it.” More

Unless You Forgive - Matthew 6:12

When we pray, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors,” we are asking God to forgive our sins according to the same standard we have used in forgiving the sins of others. When you pray this prayer you are really saying, “O God, deal with me as I deal with other people.” More

When Jesus Comes to Church - Revelation 2:1-7

How easy it is to substitute knowledge for a warm heart toward Jesus. How quickly we justify our hard hearts by pointing to all our well-intentioned religiosity. More

Letter From a Friend - Romans 15

To understand forgiveness, consider Jesus on the cross. In his dying moments He uttered words that still ring across the centuries: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even as he said those words, the crowd laughed, mocked, cheered, jeered. They taunted him. When he died, the people who put him to death were quite pleased with themselves. No one seemed very sorry. No one said, “I was wrong. This is a mistake.” And yet h More

How to Kill a New Christian - Part 1 - Romans 14:1-12

Part 1. There are many ways to kill the faith of a new Christian, but the easiest way - and the quickest - is through criticism and a lack of acceptance. We all have a tendency to criticize people who don’t do or say things the way we think they ought to be said or done. Terrible things can happen when we are too quick to offer personal judgments on believers who don’t meet our personal standards. How can we overcome the impulse to criticize our brother More

All One Body We: “The Communion of Saints” - Hebrews 12:1

“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 president against Jimmy Carter. This is part of that interview.John Bass: Governor Reagan, do you feel there is a nee More

First Century Patterns For 21st-Century Churches - Various

How closely should local churches follow the patterns of the New Testament? The answer is, as closely as possible, understanding that no one is 100% consistent and that outward forms will change over time. That means we need to focus on the key functions of the church, giving freedom to differ on how those functions are expressed. More

The Mysterious Doctrine of the Trinity - Acticle B: The True God - Various

My introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity came at a very young age. I first learned it through the music we sang at the First Baptist Church. The great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” was number one in the Baptist Hymnal. Over the years the words “God in three persons, Blessed Trinity” were tattooed on my soul. Each Sunday we began the worship service by singing the Doxology, which ends with the words “ More

Joyful Living in a Grumpy World - Philippians 1:1-8

This morning we are beginning a new sermon series from the book of Philippians. By all accounts this is one of the most beloved books in the New Testament. We love to read Philippians and we love to study it and to memorize it. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is that this is the happiest letter the apostle Paul ever wrote. It is clear that sometimes Paul was not in a lighthearted mood when he wrote his letters, es More

"We Did Not Give in to Them:" Why Unity Must be Based on Truth - Galatians 2:1-10

I want to begin by calling your attention to the most important verse in our passage—verse 5, which reads, “We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.” If you didn’t know anything else about the background of that statement, two things would be apparent even without further information:1) Paul had backbone. He was in a battle with someone over the gospel, an More

How to Handle Trouble in the Church

Some subjects require special justification by the pastor; others are self-evident. This one requires no justification. Wherever you have two or more people gathered in one place, you will have trouble sooner or later. Whenever you have hundreds of people in one place, you’ll probably have trouble sooner rather than later. Thus the need for this study.  What do you do when … –Two Christians will no longe More

Our Mutual Covenant - Acts 2:41-47

Down in Texas they say that football is a religion. But I ran across something the other day that made me think that the same thing might be true in Chicago. It happened while we were browsing through a shopping mall. I walked into a department store and found a whole area reserved for Chicago Bears souvenirs. There were hats. There were gloves. There were sweaters. There were warm-up jackets and warm-up pants. There were tenn More

God Has a Big Family—Part 2 “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church” - Ephesians 4:1-6

“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 two words together, you get ekklesia, which means &ldq More

Perilous Times - II Timothy 3

You’ve probably heard the old joke about the fellow who was told, “Cheer up. Things could be worse.” So he said, “I did as I was told. I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” That in a nutshell is the message of II Timothy. The Apostle Paul, writing from a prison cell in Rome, knowing that his own death was at hand, warns his young protg Timothy of difficult days to come. Although he never lo More

This Must Be the Place: - Various

Seven times in nine years I have given a State of the Church address to Calvary Memorial Church. In my first message I quoted the famous words of Daniel Burnham, architect and author of The Chicago City Plan: “Make no small plans. They have no power to stir men’s blood.”I have tried to follow that advice from the very first day. Over these nine years together we have seen God do some amazing things in our midst. The More

The Tragedy of Open-Minded Christianity - Revelation 2:12-17

Christians are narrow-minded about God’s truth. We believe something the chattering classes find incredible. We believe that God has spoken in his Word and that his Word is to be obeyed, not debated. More

The Four Freshmen: How the World Tries to Seduce the Church - Daniel 1:1-7

This morning we begin a brand-new series called Daniel: Courageous Living in Turbulent Times. With Y2K only 55 days away, and with the recent Newsweek cover story on Bible prophecy called “The Way the World Ends,” this seems like the right time to investigate this ancient book.Why study the book of Daniel? Here are three answers to that question:1) Daniel’s situation parallels our own. For most of his life, Daniel l More

Never Be Surprised by Hard Times - 1 Peter 4:12-19

I begin with the words of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, from an interview with William F. Buckley: “As an old man, looking back on one’s life, it’s one of the things that strikes you most forcibly—that the only thing that’s taught one anything is suffering. Not success, not happiness, not anything like that. The only thing that really teaches one what life’s about … is suffering.&rd More

The Prisoner Book Project

Last fall I was approached by a young man in our church asking if we could send my book What a Christian Believes to prisoners. On his own initiative he contacted Prison Fellowship and they agreed to offer the book (with the cooperation of Crossway Books, the publisher) without cost to prisoners through their monthly public… More

The Holy Spirit and the Gift of Tongues - Article C: The Holy Spirit - Various

There are two problems a pastor faces whenever he comes to speak on a topic as controversial as speaking in tongues. The first is that the subject is so vast that he cannot hope to cover it completely. It would take a book to fully consider all the pertinent issues, and if I wrote such a book, I doubt that anyone would read it! So no matter how much I try, I will inevitably leave off some crucial areas for lack of time or space. More


First Draft: January 15, 1991(Version 2.30) Submitted by: Ray Pritchard, Brian Bill, Bill Miller, Bob Boerman, Terry Strandt More

Trees Planted by the Water: How to Get Started Right in 2002 - Psalm 1

Each January our church chooses a theme for the New Year. After much prayer we settled on “God’s Word: Our Unshakable Foundation” as the theme for 2002. We have two theme verses. The first comes from Isaiah 40:8, “The word of our God stands forever.” The second comes from Matthew 24:35, “My words will never pass away.” In the coming year we want to go back to the basics at Calvary by stressin More

Lord’s Prayer People - Matthew 6:9-13

The Lord’s Prayer answers the question, “What does Christian prayer look like?” Truly Christian prayer starts with God, moves to our human needs, and rises to God again. More

The Year of Good Riddance - 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

Maybe we should make 2010 a Year of Good Riddance in which we say farewell to anger, bitterness, blaming, finger pointing, self-justification and a critical spirit, and ask God to grant us a fresh infusion of his grace in all of our relationships. More

How Much Sin Will God Forgive? - Psalm 51

If God forgave David, he will certainly forgive you. If a murdering adulterer could find grace, there is hope for you and me. More

Love Means Telling the Truth - 2 Corinthians 7:8-13

God intends for the church to become a body of committed, loving truth-tellers. Easy to say, hard to do. More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 2


Should Our Teachers Be Required to Sign the Articles of Faith? - Various

Tonight we are beginning a brand-new series of Sunday night messages. As you know, I usually take books of the Bible on a chapter-by-chapter basis on Sunday night. This series is a major departure from that pattern. But I decided to make the change after considering three factors: 1. The rapid growth of our congregation in recent years. Although I do not have exact figures, I know that we had about 1150 people on our list when More

How Are You Fixed For Friends? - John 3:33-34

The most popular TV show in America is set in a bar in Boston. The name of the TV series is the same as the name of the bar—Cheers. It has been the most popular TV show for the last several years and has been in the top five most-watched shows for seven or eight years. Cheers is the story of a very unusual group of people who gather at the bar every day after work to kibbutz, to chat, to trade war stories, to tell a few joke More

When Christians Disagree - Acts 15:36-41

Christians disagree about almost everything. And when we disagree, we usually start a new church. Which reminds me of a story I heard a few years ago. A Scottish Presbyterian is rescued after many years of living alone on a desert island. When he is picked up, the captain says to him, “I thought you were stranded alone.” “I was,” replied the castaway. “Why are there three huts on the beach?” & More

Clarification of Certain Doctrinal and Practical Issues - Various

The following material is presented by the Elders as a means of clarifying the church’s position on certain issues. As you read this, please remember that this is not meant to be a comprehensive statement of what we believe in every area. You may consult the Articles of Faith for a full statement of our doctrinal position. We welcome your comments and feedback on anything presented here. More

What Is Your Isaac? - Hebrews 11:17-19

From the story of Abraham offering Isaac, we learn that God calls us to yield our dearest treasures to him. Anything good can become an idol when it becomes too important to us. What is your Isaac? Are you willing to lay it down for Jesus’ sake? More

Remembering September 11

REMEMBERING SEPTEMBER 11 by Ray Pritchard Sometimes you know an idea is right the first time you hear it. That happened to me in June when someone suggested we ought to hold a public service on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since then we’ve been working behind the scenes to make it happen. Firs… More

Make No Small Plans - Various

Before we moved to Oak Park last August, someone gave us a copy of the Chicago Magazine’s Guide to Chicago. Nestled between the Title Page and the Table of Contents is this quote from Daniel Hudson Burnham, author of The Chicago City Plan: “Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”That quote has come to symbolize for me what Chicago is all about. It is a city of big dreams, big ideas, b More

Life Has Been Good - Various

This is the fifth year I have been privileged to give a State of the Church address to Calvary Memorial Church. In my first message I quoted the great Chicago architect Daniel Burnham who said, “Make no small plans. They have no power to stir men’s blood.”As far as I have been able, I have attempted to follow that advice. From the very first day I set foot in Oak Park, I felt that this was a church with a great p More

Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus - Hebrews 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). At the beginning of each new year, we announce a theme for the year along with a theme verse. I usually start thinking and praying about it in August or early September. This time as I pondered the spiritual con More

Bad Manners at the Dinner Table: A Powerful Lesson in Biblical Confrontation - Galatians 2:11-14

This is a sermon about conflict in the church—where it comes from and how to handle it. As a place to begin, I’d like to start with the observation that most church conflicts fall into one of two categories. Let’s talk first about the second category.Category 2 conflicts are those disagreements that are non-biblical in nature. That is, they deal with matters that are not directly discussed in the Word of God. Most c More

Living in Light of the Future - Malachi 2:17-3:5

Jesus sometimes puts us in the fire in order to purify us until He can see His image in us. Remember that He prunes so that we can grow because He is much more interested in our character than He is in our comfort. He takes His launderer’s soap and cleans us so that we’re forgiven. Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” More

You Will Be My Witnesses: God's Job Description for Every Christian - Acts 1:8

I first heard the question 27 years ago from my friend, Ben Wilkinson, a Presbyterian evangelist. He came to the First Presbyterian Church of Russellville, Alabama for a week of evangelistic meetings. During the mornings he trained a team of young people to share the gospel door to door. Although it will be hard for those who know me to believe this, I served as the music director for that week of revival services. I directed the vol More

The King Who Went Crazy - Daniel 4

God deals with Nebuchadnezzar’s pride. Application: The moment you start taking credit for anything, you’re just daring God to come and smack you around. God won’t share his glory with anyone and he won’t sit idly by while we attempt to shove him out of the picture. If we choose not to listen to God, he turns up the volume until he has our undivided attention. More

What Happens When We Die? Article L: Future Reward and Punishment - Various

We live in a time when there is great fascination about life after death. S A few years ago Raymond Moody wrote a best-seller called Life After Life, which purported to detail the near-death experiences of men and women who “died” and then came back to tell remarkably similar stories of weightlessness, bright lights and reunions with loved ones. S Hundreds of so-called “channelers” claim to be able to con More

Getting Along With Cantankerous Christians - Philippians 2:1-4

Here is the text taken from The Message, a contemporary translation of the New Testament by Eugene Peterson: If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to More

Ten Happy Years: - Various

It all started late in 1988 when I was sitting at my desk at home in Garland, Texas wondering what I would do with the rest of my life. I was 36 years old, with a wife, three children, a mortgage, and no regular job. Five days a week I drove from Garland to Irving where I worked for Shepherd Ministries as a conference coordinator. I created that title for myself because it made me feel better. Actually I spent all day every day makin More

Sola Scriptura: The Bible and Only the Bible - 2 Timothy 3:16

"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89 “You have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2b “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 “The Scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35b “Your word is truth.” John 17:17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebu More

Allied Force Questions - Various

When we surveyed the congregation asking for their questions a few months ago, our high school ministry (called Allied Force) turned in their own set of questions. On October 12, the students joined me on the platform and participated in a live question-and-answer session. The questions that follow were taken from that Sunday and also from the list of questions the students submitted last spring. More

What is Saving Faith? - Romans 10:9-10

The question posed by my title is not as easily answered as one might assume. It is evident from reading the New Testament that not everyone who “believes” truly possesses saving faith. Jesus himself warned in Matthew 7:21-23 that on the Day of Judgment many will claim to have worked miracles in his name, but he will say to them, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” And James 2:19 informs us that the demons bel More

God in Three Persons: A Doctrine We Barely Understand

My problem this morning is simple: to explain a doctrine that all Christians believe but no one really understands. And I have to do it in 30 minutes!So let’s start at the very beginning. All Christians believe the doctrine of the Trinity. If you do not believe this—that is, if you have come to a settled conclusion that the doctrine of the Trinity is not true—you are not a Christian at all. You are in fact a heretic More

Life-Changing, Heart-Moving, World-Shaking Prayer - 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

"Prayer is not everything but everything is by prayer.” So said Ray Ortlund. All Christians would agree with that statement. No matter what our background, instinctively we know that prayer is central to the Christian life. Most of you are familiar with Corrie Ten Boom whose family hid Jews in Holland during World War II. After being released from the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp near the end of the war, she had a vital More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 3


Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 23. EACH PRECIOUS MOMENT


The Unforgiving Christian

Jesus taught that if we don’t forgive others God won’t forgive us. Does this mean a person who is a Christian will lose his salvation if he refuses to forgive someone?

Forgiveness and the Christian

Could you articulate a good way of explaining this: When we are justified when we receive Christ, all our sins are forgiven—past, present, and future. So, when we sin after receiving Christ, do we really “ask for forgiveness", are we simply confessing sin, or what is it that we do as those already in a state of forgiveness? Thanks!

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2013 KBM Winter Report