Foundations of Mercy & Mission #1: Abundance & Scarcity

Gen. 3:14-24, 1 Jn. 4:7-21, Lk. 9:12-17 Introduction The Bible opens in mission (Gen. 1:27-28), and the mission is predicated on abundance not scarcity (Gen. 1:29, 2:8-15). The mission of the Church rests on an even greater abundance in the inheritance and authority of Jesus (Mt. 28:18-20, Rom. 8:32). Sin is the assumption of scarcity…

The Economics of Marriage

Marriage is an economic reality. Every wedding is an economic transaction and creation. The word “economy” itself comes from the Greek word that meant “household management.” An economy literally is the establishment and norms of a household. So every wedding is the establishment of a new household, and therefore a new economy. But we are…

I Saw Satan Fall

Luke XXXVII: Lk. 10:1-24 Introduction One of the most important lessons of the Bible is that things are not always what they seem. Here, we have the relatively unassuming record of Jesus sending out the seventy to proclaim peace, heal the sick, and announce the arrival of the kingdom of God, but in this event,…

Testing the Spirit of Sola Scriptura

One aspect of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura that sometimes seems problematic is what the Protestant tradition has called “the internal testimony of the Spirit.” Is this the Protestant version of the Mormon “burning in the bosom?” Is this the catch all excuse-maker justifying all manner of iniquity? I cannot submit to my elders because…

How Jesus Cleans & Forgives

Luke XX: Lk. 5:12-26 Introduction In order to understand the healings of the leper and the paralytic, you have to understand a little bit about the Old Testament purity system, a fairly complex code of cleanliness regulating how one could draw near to God in worship (Lev. 13-15). Uncleanness & God’s Grace “Leprosy” was a…

The Victory of Jesus

Luke XVI: Lk. 4:1-14 Introduction Last week we looked at what temptation is, and why the Spirit led Jesus and sometimes leads us into the wilderness to be tested. This week, we look more closely at the three particular temptations the devil presents to Jesus and why it should be encouraging to know this part…

The Great Avenger

Luke XIII: Lk. 3:10-20 Introduction One way to understand John’s announcement about “preparing the way of the Lord” is like the herald of a wedding. Just as God came like a hero to Israel in Egypt and married her, just as He had come for them in exile and redeemed His people, so John is…

Why Does the Resurrection of Jesus Give People Joy?

Easter Sunday 2015 [Note: The audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Before His death, Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving briefly and they would be sorrowful, but then He would return and they would receive a joy that no one would ever be able to take from them (Jn. 16:2-24). And…

The Joy Command

This is a slightly edited outline of an exhortation I gave at our Elder/Deacon Retreat this last weekend:  Introduction As we consider the year before us and all the real challenges we face, it can be easy to feel tired, exhausted, and overwhelmed. And it’s pretty striking that there really aren’t that many passages in…

CRF: Evangelism for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty

Introduction Because all people are made in the image of God, all people have an innate hunger and desire for God, for the transcendent, for meaning, for the real. And because we are made in the image of the Triune God, we instinctively know that somehow this pursuit is a shared pursuit, and this knowledge…