Emmanuel Baptist Church Podcast

Sermons presented at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jefferson City TN by Dr. Sonny Strange

The Podcasts

November 25, 2018 The Searchers Psalm 132:1-5 Synopsis: Let me begin by saying I am not trying to rush into Christmas although I truly do love this time of the year. My sermons over the next few weeks will be drawn from Matthew’s telling of the Wise Men. I know we usually wait until after telling about the shepherds coming to the stable to see the baby Jesus, but this year I want to invite you to image with me the story of their search and ponder what wisdom we might discover for our own journey. What are you searching for? Where are you searching for truth and meaning or purpose in life? What comes next beyond life as we know it? Text (NLT): Psalm 132:1-5, Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-2 Children’s Lesson: Barbara Brown Taylor; illustrated by Melanie Cataldo, Home by Another Way, Louisville, KY, Flyaway Books, 2018.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_25_18.mp3
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October 21, 2018 Ignorant and Wayward People Hebrews 5:2 Synopsis: “Ignorant and Wayward People,” (Hebrews 5:2) surely that’s not us, right? OK, so at times we do fit the bill, maybe even a lot of the time. How do we fit the bill? We live uninformed lives demonstrated in our daily activities or in the lack of activities. Our “ignorant and wayward” lives demonstrate our need of a priest to intercede for us. At times, the priest we need is as close as our brother or sister in Christ Jesus. Believers are empowered to serve one another as a priest of the Most High God. The priesthood of all believers basically calls on us to do what we can for one another. There are times when there is not one among us who can do what we need. These are the times in our lives when only Jesus can deliver us and be our interceding High Priest in the presence of God the Father. Text (NLT): Hebrews 5:1-10; Genesis 14:17-24; Psalm 110:4 Scripture Reading: Psalm 104:1

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Guest speaker Rev. Rick Bennett from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

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Guest Speaker Rev. David Bluford

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September 9, 2018 Raising the Dead James 2:17 Synopsis: I love the resurrection hope of the Gospel and I love affirming the faith of those who believe, but I also know that too many people are way too dependent on affirmation. Disciples of Jesus Christ are believers who have moved beyond their need for “affirmation” of their faith to seek the “confirmation” of their faith in what they do. That is what James is saying. If believers want to live in the hope of the resurrection then they need raised from dead faith to living faith (James 2:17). Raising the Dead has always been the work of God. It has been demonstrated a few times in Scripture, but it is not an everyday experience. What can believers do to move from affirmation to confirmation to live in the hope of the resurrection? Ask! That is what the woman did when she moved beyond affirmation to confirmation and discover healing for her daughter in the experience the hope of the resurrection in Christ Jesus (Mark 7:24-30). Where is your faith? Are you living in the assurance of the resurrection? When your faith is tested, and it will be tested, will it produce the evidence of your transformation? If not, then your faith needs to be resurrected. [ Listen for the use of these words: Affirmation; Confirmation; Demonstration; Resurrection; Transformation] Text (NLT): James 2:14-17, 1-9

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September 2, 2018 Labor Day Weekend Do What It Says! James 1:22 Synopsis: “Do what it says” sounds so much like Jesus that I sometimes think James was quoting Jesus. It is a problem that we all have especially as we hear the word of the Lord on a very personal level. We put on a good show, but only wind up fooling ourselves. The salvation of God begins in the heart of men and women, boys and girls and works its way out in every aspect of life or it is not the salvation of God at all. We may be putting on a good show but the reality is we are just fooling ourselves. God knows. Text (NLT): James 1:19-27: 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Mark 7:1-8; Isaiah 29:11-14; Mark 7:14-15, 21-23.

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August 19, 2018 What’s Ya Need? 1 Kings 3:5 Synopsis: Have you ever been in one of those situations where you were caught not knowing what to ask for? Maybe it happened when you were getting ready to order something at a new restaurant or searching for something online. There are times when you really do have to be careful about what you ask for because you might get it. That is not always a good thing. Solomon had what might be classified as a very enchanting “dream” one night (1 Kings 3:3-14). He dreamed that the Lord told him to ask for anything he wanted. WOW! You would like to have had that dream? What would you have asked for? More wishes? What Solomon asked for was not so much a wish for what he wanted as much as it was a prayer for what he needed in order to do what God had positioned him to do. Believers today need to learn the lesson of Solomon and ask God for wisdom (James 1:2-8) to make the right decisions in their lives (Ephesians 5:15-20). Did you say you had more experience in doing the “don’t” than in doing the “dos?” God has a cure for that if you will trust Him (Psalm 111:10). Text: 1 Kings 3:3-14, NIV; James 1:2-8; Ephesians 5:15-20, NLT Ephesians 5:15-20, NLT; Psalm 111:10, NLT Scripture Reading: Psalm 111:1-4

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Guest Speaker Rick Loy

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July 29, 2018 For This Reason Ephesians 3:14-21 Synopsis: The first half of the letter to the church in Ephesus tells the story of God’s work in Christ Jesus and the Apostle’s prayer for the growth and development of the church. “For this reason” is the phrase that Paul used to emphasize that work. It is found in the beginning of the letter and later on in chapter 3, my text for today. It is because of what God has done in Christ and will do in the church that he prays for their “strength”, “love”, “knowledge” and “fullness”. With these the church may know God’s love and share God’s love with others. Text (NIV): Ephesians 3:14-21, 1:3, 15-23 Scripture Reading: Psalm 14:1-2

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July 8, 2018 Passportkids Reporting All Caught Up 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Synopsis: It is easy to get “All Caught Up” in many different things in life. Many of those things are just down right fun and remain that way for varying lengths of time. Short term things often are called FADS. We fill closets and storage buildings with the stuff that once captured our attention. The stuff that is just waiting for a second go-round. Other things happen to us in life that holds our attention for longer periods of time. I am referring to things that are not defined by “stuff” as much as relationships. And finally, there are experiences that we have in life that catch us and capture our attention so that we are never the same afterwards. There is little question in my mind that the Apostle Paul was “All Caught Up” in Jesus Christ. Paul had many experiences of the resurrected Lord but he was never the same after the first one. In this passage (2 Corinthians 12:1) Paul refers to being “caught up into the third heaven.” Not everybody gets to go there. Not everybody gets to have that experience, but everybody can experience the life changing presence of Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. A line from a Kirk Talley’s song simply says “He is here, you can touch Him. You will never be the same.” (He Is Here, © 2011 Kirk Talley Music) Text (NIV): 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Scripture Reading: Psalm 48:1, NIV

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July 1, 2018 The Remembrance Freedom Isn’t Free It’s Transformative 2 Corinthians 8:9 Synopsis: I’m sure you have heard many times that “Freedom Isn’t Free” and that is true in many different ways. The price for freedom from the wages of sin and death is far beyond our human ability to pay. The good news, as Paul points out, is that freedom is possible in Christ Jesus simply because Jesus paid the price. But that is not all of the story. True “Freedom” in Christ Jesus “Isn’t Free It’s Transformative.” Freedom that isn’t transformative may best be described as anarchy. I would argue that the framers of The Declaration of Independence insisted that free people are not to be anarchist but patriots. Think with me for just a moment. Do you remember the stories of the struggles the Children of Israel had as they broke away from Egypt? They were free from Egyptian bondage, but they were not yet transformed. Anarchy seemed to rule the day. Moses was often frustrated trying to deal with the People of anarch. It took a long time but step by step they were transformed into the People of God. Eventually they were able to enter the Promised Land. Today, as we come to the Lord’s Table we are celebrating our freedom in Christ Jesus while taking transformative steps in our daily life that will truly let freedom ring. Jesus transformed the meaning of the bread and wine of Passover to living signs of His brokenness for our wholeness and the establishment of a new covenant relationship that is for our transformation. Text (NIV): 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Scripture Reading: Psalm 130:1-4, NIV

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June 24, 2018 Commissioning High School Youth Mission Team Calming the Troubled Waters Mark 4:35-41 Synopsis: Many people have no problem affirming that Jesus Calmed the Troubled Waters. They know the Gospel stories (Mark 4:35-41), but that doesn’t mean they know how to get Jesus to calm the troubled waters of their lives. Listen to the story carefully and you will see that the Disciples didn’t have faith to calm the troubled waters for themselves. They needed Jesus. You and I are no different. We need Jesus too not just to save our soul but to guide and protect us on our journey of life. God help us to learn the lesson of trust and prayer. Text: Mark 4:35-41, CEV; Philippians 4:6, NLT Scripture Reading: Psalm 9:9-11

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June 10, 2018 Misunderstood vs. Misrepresented Mark 3:20-22 Synopsis: With all that was going on in those days (Mark 3:20-35) it is easy to see how Jesus’ family and friends could have “misunderstood” what was happening. Maybe they were acting out of love when they tried to step in and “rescue Him” from himself. That is not what was happening with the Pharisees. Text (NLT): Mark 3:20-22, 23-27, 28-30, 31-35; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 Scripture Reading: Psalm 138:6-8

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June 6, 2018 Appalachian Outreach Week Stretch Out Your Hand! Mark 3:5 Synopsis: Jesus was frustrated. Jesus was angry with the opposition, but He never let that stop him from doing what someone needed. Neither should we. Jesus told a man whose hand was shriveled to “Stretch Out Your Hand!” It was on the Sabbath and they were standing in a synagogue surrounded by witnesses. And when the man responded he found he was healed. Those who opposed Jesus rushed out to meet with other in another effort to get Jesus killed. Don’t be like them. Instead, “Stretch Out You Hand” and be healed and go offer healing to others in Jesus’ Name. Text (NIV): Psalm 139:1-6; Mark 3:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:5-12

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May 13, 2018 Mother’s Day Living In The Assurance 1 John 5:13 Synopsis: We have reached our destination. It has taken us five weeks to get here. Today we take a long look at the assurance of “eternal life.” Each week of our journey I have focused in on points found in the five chapters of the Epistle of 1 John. All along the way I wanted to get to 1 John 5:13 “so that you may know that you have eternal life.” But first we had to examine the things John has written to believers as the basis for that assurance. Fellowship Matters to share with God & Believers What’d Ya Know – Good? Knowing is relational not mental Love From Both Sides God is Good, and if you don’t know Jesus you don’t love. Test Your Spirituality The Spirit of God is just like God. Turn your radio on and tune in to God. Living in The Assurance Today I we test our GPS setting. Let’s listen to the voice of the “love” of God to guide us all the way to our destination. Text (NIV): 1 John 5 Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:13-15

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April 22, 2018 Whad’Ya Know – Good? Sin and Fellowship 1 John 2:3 Synopsis: Remember that my goal in preaching this series of sermons from 1 John is “so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13, NIV).” I want very one to have the assurance of eternal life. I want to start today’s message by reading 1 John 2:12-14 from the NIV and then from The Message. The point is, we need to look at the meaning instead of just the wording. What was John telling us instead of what we want to hear. My primary text for today comes from 1 John 2:3. We begin our work of “knowing” as “little children” sitting at the feet of our teacher. What better way is there to learn. There is room at our teacher’s feet for anyone who desires to “know.” There are a lot of things believers need to know to get along in life. First of all, maybe even most of all, believers need to know “good” because God is Good. “Knowing” Him and living in His fellowship is to be reflected in the life of every believer because for John “knowing” is always “relational.” John cuts through the chase when he writes, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Whad’Ya Know – Good? Point to remember: “Knowing”, as John is using the term, is always “relational” not mental. Text (NIV): 1 John 2:12-14 (NIV & The Message); Psalm 73:1; Luke 18:19; 1 John 2:1-27

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April 15, 2018 Fellowship Matters 1 John 1:3 Synopsis: Today I am launching into a sermon series in the Epistle of 1 John. I want to tell you up front where I am going, but you and I will have to work through the rest of the letter before we get there. 1 John 5:13, NIV “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I want each and every one of you to know that you have eternal live. The rest of the letter forms the critical context for that assurance. Too often I hear people jumping to the assurance without doing the work on which the assurance is built. Let’s start where we must start in the journey of assurance and that is with the fellowship (1 John). The first lesson is simple. The assurance of “eternal life” is not made in absentia of the fellowship. We use that word in a lot of different ways. In fact some congregations have chosen to use the word “fellowship” instead of “church” in their name. I have even seen some congregations that use both. Baptist have always been good at using the term “fellowship” when it comes to food. That is why we have a “Fellowship Hall.” Now, let’s talk about “fellowship” in matters of eternal consequence, because “Fellowship Matters.” In verse three John launches us into the types of fellowship that matters. There is the fellowship of believers and the fellowship with God. In both cases fellowship is more than what you say. Text (NIV): 1 John 1:1-10; Acts 2:42-43; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 4:7-11 Scripture Reading: Psalms 4:6-8,

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Gideon Report

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April 1, 2018 Easter The Release 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Synopsis: This is Easter morning and since women believers were the first to discover the empty tomb and first to proclaim the resurrection story it is only fitting that we have women leading us in reading the story this morning. This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24) Why are we so happy? We are happy because Jesus was and is victorious over death and the grave. As Paul wrote (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) “Christ died for our sins, … buried, and three days later he was raised to life.” Praise God the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Chains of death and hell have been forever broken. It’s time for all those who believe to act like it. Time’s Up for living a complacent life. Time’s Up for waiting for another tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation, do not harden your heart, it could burst. Text: (CEV): 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Pew Bible page 987; Psalm 118:18-24, Pew Bible page 512-513; Acts 10:42-46, Pew Bible page 942. Scripture Reading: John 20:1-18, CEV

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Let me invite you to join us as we go back in time and place to hear again the good news as we tell portions of the story of Jesus’ ministry. The first scene on the main stage will feature a setting like the Sermon on the Mount. In this scene you will hear Jesus’ invitation that will be carried throughout the program, “Come follow me.” First the Emmanuel Kid’s Choir will respond to his invitation with song then find acceptance as they join him at the top of the stage. Next you will hear Jesus share portions of the Beatitudes and His teaching concerning prayer. Following the morning offering scene two will focus on a meeting room up in the baptistery area. There you will see and hear from Peter, John, Andrew and Nicodemus as each one shares special insights about life with Jesus. This is also when they will be introducing a brand-new song written by our very own minister of music Dr. Mark Hussung, Come and See. The final scene will feature the Upper Room where Peter shares more of his story and sings Peter’s Song (also written by Mark Hussung). Other Disciples will join him in singing and then Jesus will lead us in the celebration of The Last Supper. We hope all of you will join us as we eat the bread and drink from the cup of The Remembrance.

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March 11, 2018

Look Up and Live

John 3:14-15


Synopsis: The title of my sermon today is “Look Up and Live.”  I admit it sounds more like a warning to all those who text while driving.  We know better, but…we’ve been bitten by the technology bug and feel the need to be constantly in touch.

      In case you’re wondering, no this is not part of a sermon series on smart phones.  Though maybe it should be.  “Look Up and Live” comes right out of the text of the Lord’s message to Moses.  You see, the Lord knows looking up to Him is the place to begin whenever His people are surrounded by troubles.  The way out of our troubles isn’t found in them.  The way out of our troubles is found in HIM (Exodus 21:4-9).  You see, I believe this story is not just about Moses, the people of Israel in their wilderness wandering and a nest of snakes.  I believe it’s about you and me and the way to the promised land (John 3:14-21).

      How far does one have to go before he or she starts looking in a different direction for help (Psalm 107:17-22)?  What are you waiting on (Ephesians 2:1-10)?


Text: Numbers 21:4-9, NLT; John 3:14-21, ESV; Psalm 107:17-22, NLT; Ephesians 2:1-10, MSG.


Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1-3

Direct download: 3_11_18.mp3
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February 11, 2018 Why Him? 2 Kings 5:13-14 Synopsis: Have you ever asked the question “Why Him?” Sure you have. That question had to be floating around among the people of Judah in reference to this story of the healing of Naaman (23 Kings 5:1-14). On the one hand we all want to know “Why do bad things happen to good people.” And on the other hand, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” Those questions only get intensified when the questions center around our enemies. Jesus seems to deal with the questions by simply saying good and bad happens to all of us (Matthew 5:44-46). It seems that there is no shortage of people who know better than God how God ought to act. The story illustrates the need for a witness even to our enemies so that the Glory of the Lord will be revealed. The prophet didn’t act the way Naaman thought he should. The prophet made no impressive gyrations nor uttered any enchantments and asked for no tributes to be paid. It just didn’t happen the way Naaman thought it would, but it did happen when he did what he was instructed to do. Now that is a witness we need to pay attention to. Jesus healed lepers too. It didn’t happen the way the ones being healed thought it should. But it too happened for a witness (Mark 1:40-45). The question I am left with is this, “What have we done as a result of our healing?” Have we been faithful to do what our Savior asked us to do? Text (NIV): 2 Kings 5:1-14; Matthew 5:44-46; Mark 1:40-45 Scripture Reading: Psalm 30:10-12

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

January 28, 2018 Bullfrog Religion 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Synopsis: Paul was continuing down a list of questions from the believers in Corinth when the subject of food sacrificed to idols came up. It was a thorny question for the believers there who, like all of us, were made up of believers at different levels of maturity. Paul’s answer went way beyond the question to strike at the need of the church in Corinth and everywhere else. Throughout the letter to the Corinthians Paul emphasized the need for unity in the church, true knowledge and true love. Some in the church were “puffed up” about what they thought they knew and were not concerned about the affect it was having on other believers. We have a common phrase (idiom) that I have found in a lot of different uses in a lot of different sections of our society. I am sure you have heard it and suspect you have even used it. The phrase is “puffed-up like a bull frog” and it came to my mind when I was reading verse 1, thus my title Bullfrog Religion. Simply put a religious bullfrog is someone who is all puffed up with making their own noises and therefore lean toward the put down of those around them instead of building others up in love. Which do you think is more like Christ? Surely, the work of the church is not about making noises. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul wrote more extensively about love and closed with naming the things that remain “faith, hope and love.” Of course, “love” is the one that remains but I hope you noticed “knowledge” didn’t even make the list. Text (NIV): 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

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January 21, 2018 In God Alone Psalm 62:5 Synopsis: Our world is continually “passing away.” New things are becoming old. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:31 “For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” Consistency, norm, standards, etc. always seem to be conditional and therefore unstable at best. Faith, on the other hand, invites us to place our hope on the God Who is faithful. With that in mind, let us listen afresh to the call of the psalmist (Psalm 62:5-12): 5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. 10b And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life. There are a lot of things I could talk to you about today. Important things like: Your finances, Church finances, Your physical, mental, spiritual health. Serious things like: Your relationships with others at home, at work, with your neighbors. There is one thing that is critical in bringing order to all your questions about finances, health concerns, and relationships in your life and that one thing is God. The place we need to begin is worship. Today, I just want to help you worship. Text (NLT): 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Psalm 62:5-12 Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

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January 14, 2018 We Have Work To Do Psalm 139:16 Synopsis: The title of my sermon today is not framed as a question, but rather as a statement. We (that is all of us) have (present tense) work (toil) to do (because of whose we are) and we have only a few days (limited time) to get it done. First of all, let’s consider the fact that God knows all there is to know about us even to the point of the number of our days. As believers, we should consider that a good thing. The numbering of days has already begun for 2018. Thirteen days are already in the books and we will be at the half way mark for day fourteen by the end of this service. I guess the big looming question is what do you have to show for it? Are you still in the running on your New Year’s Resolution? Did you learn anything from the numbering of your days in 2017 that is being translated into these days? Text (NIV): Psalm 139:13-18; Revelation 4:8; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, MSG

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January 7, 2018 An Epiphany Realized Matthew 3:13-17 Synopsis: People don’t always experience an epiphany on January 6th even though it is identified as such on the calendar. The date represents when the gentiles of the world, represented in the Magi, experienced the manifestation of God in the baby Jesus. There have been and continue to be many manifestations but we often fail to experience and “epiphany” because we have not been reconciled to God and man. John the Baptist is a prime example of someone who was not concerned with what other people thought of him. However, John had to reconcile his understanding of baptism when Jesus presented Himself on the banks of Jordan. To be honest, we all have a lot of work to do in order to realize an epiphany. To be honest, God has already done the hard word of reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-22, NLT) now it is up to us. First, we need to “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength” mercy and grace, for salvation is of God not of us. The next thing is we need to be reconciled to God and man (Matthew 5:23-24, NLT). Then, we may have an opportunity to experience the epiphany. Text (NIV): Psalm 29:1-2; Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 10:34-43; Colossians 1:19-22, NLT; Matthew 5:23-24, NLT Scripture Reading: Psalm 29:1-2

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