Active or Passive in the Raging War?

April 21, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This past Sunday at Oak Hills we sought to answer the question, “If Christians are new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24), why do they still sin and struggle with sin?” I believe the apostle Paul wrote Romans 7 to describe this very real struggle for Christians and provide hope. In this chapter, Paul explains that while a Christian is redeemed from the power of sin (Rom. 6:6) and has been given new spiritual life with God with new desires, delights, and will (Rom. 6:4) he is still afflicted by the lingering influence of sinful flesh (7:14 & 23). This is the identity of Christians and explains the mystery of the struggle.... Keep Reading

Remedies for Affluenza

April 15, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The word “affluenza” has been prominent this past week, especially in light of the ongoing parole case involving the “affluenza teen” in Texas. To be honest, I don’t recall ever seeing this word before (I missed the teen’s original trial, I guess). I joined with millions of others and made the word “affluenza” the ninth most Googled on Wednesday. I’m intrigued by what I found.... Keep Reading

The Tabernacle and You

April 8, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This past week I finished reading through the book of Exodus. If it wasn’t for my Bible reading plan, I’m not sure what would motivate me to read all of the way through Exodus. The first half is exciting with Moses and God’s miraculous powers displayed in the land of Egypt. Once the Israelites reach Mount Sinai, though, there are a lot of chapters detailing the construction of the Tabernacle and the preparation of the priestly garments. Why did God care so much about all of those intricate details and what difference does it make for Christians today?... Keep Reading

Resurrection at the Red Sea

April 1, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The story of Crossing the Red Sea in Exodus 14 is a Resurrection story. In fact, it gives us a glimpse into the resurrection life we enjoy now in Christ. Let me set up the story and then highlight the focal point. The Israelites have just been rescued from death-like bondage of slavery by God's miraculous power. For 400 years the children of Jacob have multiplied and grown in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh, however, subjected the Israelites to demeaning and strenuous labor. In fact, he feared their multiplication, so he sought to have male babies killed. Life for the Israelites in Egypt was dark, hopeless, despairing, and marked by death.... Keep Reading

More Than Death

March 25, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Today, being Good Friday, we remember and celebrate one of the greatest events of all of history: the death of Jesus Christ. So many truths and realities are wrapped up in this one day event: the justice and holiness of God in punishing sin, the love and mercy of God in forgiving sinners, the perfect obedience and submission of the Son of God, the mysterious dynamics of the Trinity on the cross, the fulfillment of a plan and covenant ratified in eternity past, the glorious atonement by substitution, and more. There is good reason that the cross has become one of the central symbols of the Christian faith.... Keep Reading

Election in the Church

March 17, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This Sunday Oak Hills will hold her annual congregational meeting for officer election. It is not an election in the vein of the political elections we are hearing so much about this year. There is no choosing one candidate over a different candidate. Instead it is more of an affirmation of the work of God in preparing some to serve in these offices. Hear how the New Testament speaks about the appointment of elders and deacons in the church.... Keep Reading

Why Hear Assurance of Pardon Weekly?

March 10, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

We hear an assurance of pardon for our sins every week during our worship at Oak Hills. Some may wonder about the value of such repetition. Does it seem to be too remedial? What place does assurance have in worship? Does it have any value in our spiritual growth and well-being? Let me identify seven values of hearing the assurance of pardon on a regular basis.... Keep Reading

Clinging to the Word

March 3, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I read a discouraging article last week titled, Evangelicals are Losing the Battle for the Bible. And They’re Just Fine with That. The author traces current opinions and statistical trends regarding Christians’ attitudes toward the Bible. Here’s a sampling of what he reports:... Keep Reading

Stephen is Stoned for Being God-Centered

February 25, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I really like the story of Stephen found in Acts 6 & 7. Here is a man selected to serve as a member of the first “deacon board” and “to serve tables,” as the disciples said (6:2). And yet (hmm… I use the word “yet” as if this is unexpected, unusual, or even inappropriate) Stephen was a man “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (6:5) and “full of grace and power” (6:8); he performed “great wonders and signs among the people” (6:8); and the people “could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking” (6:10). Acts 7 is a recorded sermon that Stephen gave before the Jewish high priests and Pharisees. Stephen was a remarkable man of God! I pray that I could be, and that our elders and deacons would be, like Stephen.... Keep Reading

Preparing for Easter

February 18, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Easter is about five weeks away. As a pastor, there are a lot of things on my mind in order to prepare for Easter. I’m mapping out my sermons for the month of March to deepen our understanding of Christ’s sacrifice and our enjoyment of all God has done for us through Christ. I’m working with a team to develop the best “advertising” strategy for our community. I’m discussing with our deacons and elders a list of projects we’d like to complete to “beautify” our building before Easter. I’m also thinking about our special worship gatherings, especially Good Friday service and Easter morning worship, prayerfully considering what would be both edifying and uplifting for our congregation.... Keep Reading

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