John Ogwyn Sermons 2003

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A Time of Change       2003
We live in a time of great change, not only technological, but moral. Yet, the Bible is a base of permanence; stability in an unstable world. If you want to be permanent, you need to embrace the permanent. We can change by focusing on the permanent. Weariness and distraction are the two biggest obstacles – are we changing toward the world or toward God?
Overview of the Book of Matthew       Jan 4, 2003
Background to the Book of Revelation       Jan 25, 2003
Examine Yourselves       Feb 2, 2003
Grace is free, but the cost of discipleship is high. Pre-Passover sermon. Three ways of responding to God’s will – 1) Josiah – deep repentance and humility; 2) Jehoiakim – arrogance and carelessness; 3) Zedekiah – weak, afraid to do anything. Humility, courage, and faith is the way to respond to the will of God; but what is the will of God? Subjects: Parallels between Old Testament Passover and New Testament Passover. Taking the Passover worthily. Being filled with the knowledge of His will, and walking worthy. Knowledge without application is worthless. Darkness covers the land, but we have been delivered from the darkness to the light.
The Big Picture       Mar 8, 2003
To be a successful leader, you must see the big picture. Ogwyn starts by looking at Romans 14, meat offered to idols, esteeming one day over another, and judging others. The Pharisees drew lines; Jesus taught the principle. Example of David and the showbread. Faith vs substance. Trust in God or trust in your own lawkeeping? How David and Ahab handled disappointment. Hebrews 11 as the ultimate example of seeing the big picture. Living without the Bible as the big picture is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture.
Washing By the Word of God       Mar 15, 2003
A pre-Passover self-examination sermon. What is the standard for this examination? What is the role of the Word of God in our lives? We are sanctified by the spirit for obedience. How to respond to impulses and feelings. Having the Word educate us is critical, but not enough. An example from Josiah. Jesus defined what the canon of scripture is; the Catholic church did not. Interesting segment on the organization of the Bible. Why the entire Word of God is holy and useful for setting us apart for God.
Unleavening Our Lives       Mar 22, 2003
Ogwyn starts out with stories of physical deleavening, some of which are humorous. He then launches into a sober sermon about cleaning up our lives spiritually. How these Days can teach us to discern and to make right choices. How scriptural instruction can be misapplied. Good insight on what malice & wickedness are. How to examine ourselves; what to look for. Something perhaps even more dangerous than malice & wickedness. What good is knowledge without a change of heart?
Take the Passover Worthily       Apr 12, 2003
Ogwyn discusses: Examine self, cleansing self, understanding, motivation, this world's ways. What we love motivates us. Love what God loves. Put to death the ways of the flesh. Mercy over judgment. Humility and its relation to faith.
The Author and Finisher of Our Faith       Apr 23, 2003
Given on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. This day commemorates a day of conquering. Ogwyn relates military victories that occurred on this day. We are told to be conquerors. The only way to rule in the future is to rule ourselves now. Drive and commitment are necessary. How to fight compromise and discouragement, which sap our will. Focus on the big picture – the effort is worth it. Ogwyn gives a strategy to win and to conquer sin. Be strong and of good courage! We have power we can tap!
Spiritual Strength       Jun 8, 2003
Given on Pentecost with a reminder of Ogwyn's final WCG sermon 10 years earlier. As much as the Apostles lived in anticipation of the return of Christ, we, even more so. Will we be one of the elect? Ogwyn talks about the state of the work in Louisiana. He draws interesting parallels between marriage and the 3 festival seasons. Also, lessons from Job, one of which is that he served God because he loved God, and another is how important it is to trust God. Ogwyn contrasts true spiritual experiences with false ones. Many times the Bible tells us to not be afraid -- here's how.
The Trial of Prosperity       Jul 5, 2003
How can prosperity be a trial? Ogwyn looks at Israel as they entered the promised land and received many warnings from God about forgetting Him. This translates to the United States today. He sees the moral decline in the United States that was well underway when this sermon was given in 2003. He then relates an interesting segment of Biblical history about tremendous prosperity during a long stretch well after the prosperity of Solomon and subsequent hard times. Ogwyn relates Biblical prophecy with the descent from prosperity that appears ahead of us. Also, guidance on what we are to do now.
Holy Days - God's Plan & Our Response       Sep 20, 2003
The creation proves a creator, but the Bible shows why. God is making sons, growing a family. Families need relationships and structure. Structure-only is legalism. Relationship-only is feel-good religion. Either without the other is form without substance. “If you believe from the heart, it will change your life.” It is not about rules, but a transformation. The structure gives definition to serve the relationship. Eve sinned but we have less excuse than her. Salvation is far more than repairing the damage. The Holy Days show how God is building righteous character through knowledge of the law, repentance, the power to overcome, and the time to develop it.
The Fear of God       October, 2003
Why do we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? We anticipate a time of true peace, world-wide and being a part of that world government. Why is the fear of God so important? What specifically is the fear of God? How do we learn the fear of God? The hating of evil; the deep reverence, awe and respect for God. The worldly things we honor will be debased. Humility is a result of the fear of God. Ogwyn cites multiple Biblical figures that did not exhibit the fear of God and the common trait among them.
Vision       Probably late 2003
What difference does vision make in a persons life? How is vision achieved? What causes people to lose vision? “Obedience comes from a heart that loves God and trusts God.” The role of the law in vision. Ogwyn gives excellent Biblical examples of vision and the consequences of blindness. A description of Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of God and of “Ezekiel’s” temple. Concludes with an admonition to “envision the promise afar off.”
Temperance       Nov 1, 2003
What Is It That Defines You?       Nov 1, 2003
Ogwyn cites Biblical examples of many who let themselves be defined by what others think of them. Are we compromised by what people might think? Do we seek status and prestige? Ogwyn then cites other excellent Biblical examples of those who didn’t compromise. The issue comes down to this: are we going to be defined by the things of the flesh or the things of the spirit? This is one of those sermons that is not overly complex, and as such, is a pleasure to just sit back and enjoy Ogwyn’s excellent delivery style.
Parables Explain Mysteries of the Kingdom       Nov 29, 2003
Patient Endurance       Dec 27, 2003
Ogwyn’s excellent story-telling is exhibited in the relating of Jacob, his impatience and patience. Worries and anxieties can overburden us – what to do. The role of pressures and tribulations in character production -- one of which is endurance. How hopelessness can lead to suicide. Excellent Biblical examples of vision and faith and hope leading to patient endurance.