Incarnation & F-Bombs

Words are powerful. The Bible opens with God speaking and creating the universe with His Word. Then the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only-begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. This is the Word by Whom, God upholds the universe. And this same…

Salt for the Feast: The Gift of Shame

Luke XLIX: Lk. 14:1-34 Introduction What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? What’s the most shameful thing you’ve ever thought or said or done? This passage is about the gift of shame. Summary of the Text: Jesus dines with a ruler of the Pharisees on a Sabbath and heals a man with…

An Armory for Modern Christians #10

The Glorious Strength of Fatherhood Introduction The Bible teaches that the glory of men is their strength (Prov. 20:29), and this glory is specifically given to every man to carry out their calling of fatherhood. This is not because every last man marries or begets biological children, rather this is because every man is created…

An Armory for Modern Christians #5

How You are Being Groomed Introduction As we continue to ask God to search our hearts and minds and entire lives so that every thought may be taken captive to obey Jesus, we need to see and understand how the forces of unbelief are arrayed against us and specifically how the world is grooming us…

An Armory for Modern Christians #2

2 Cor. 10:4-5: Taking Every Thought Captive Introduction We have been given divine power to destroy strongholds, arguments, and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5). This means that we must learn to examine our own thoughts, assumptions, and intentions as faithful…

Covetousness & Idolatry

Several times in the NT, Paul associates covetousness with idolatry. In 1 Corinthians, the sin of covetousness is listed right next to idolatry twice in two verses (1 Cor. 5:10-11). But it is explicitly tied together elsewhere: “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is…

Of Demons, Chaos, & America

In a bit of a rabbit trail during Sunday’s sermon, I noted that God’s war on Egypt was a thoroughly spiritual warfare. That is, God was at war with the demon-gods of Egypt (cf. Ex. 12:12). Pharaoh was the earthly representative of that pantheon, and clearly in Egyptian mythology, he held a deified status. Thus,…

Jesus and Our Demons

Luke XLI: Lk. 11:14-28 [Audio here] Introduction Perhaps C.S. Lewis put it best when he said that people tend toward two opposite dangers when it comes to demons: unbelief on the one hand and unhealthy obsession on the other. Lewis said he thought the devils were equally pleased with both errors and “hail a materialist…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #5: Sin, Slavery, and the Gospel

Gen. 4:1-16, Rom. 7:1-6, Mk. 15:16-39 Introduction As we continue to lay a biblical foundation for carrying out the mission of Jesus in this world, the world around us continues to give us reason to ask the question: How should we carry out this mission? What are we to think and believe? And what are…

The Bond of Perfectness

1 Cor. 13 & Col. 3:14-20 In the reading from Colossians Paul says, “Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14). Paul has just finished telling the Colossians to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and forgiveness. In some ways it might seem kind of redundant to…