Sophisticated Fire

Jer. 7:30-34, Gal. 5:16-23 Jeremiah describes the wickedness of Judah as beginning in the sanctuary. When people turn from listening carefully to what God says to do, they necessarily begin to substitute their own ideas, their own inventions and innovations. And this inevitably results in imitating unbelief and idolatry. It seems like an extreme, unthinkable…

The Challenge of Christian Community

Luke XXXVIII: Lk. 10:25-42 Introduction Christian community is hard. It’s hard because of sin. It’s hard because of different personalities and gifts. It’s hard because the stakes are high. Christian community aims to be and claims to be a sharing in the fellowship of God Himself (1 Jn. 1:3). So the choices we make in…

Safe in the Circle

Jer. 4:1-10, Gal. 3:10-14 Jeremiah says that if Israel returns to the Lord, they can be saved. This returning to the Lord is described as breaking up fallow ground and circumcising the foreskin of their hearts. But if they don’t do this, the wrath of God will come like fire that cannot be quenched. God…

The Great Israelite Freakout

In Joshua 22, a rather tense scene unfolds when the children of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Mannasah return to their lands on the other side of the Jordan following the completion of the conquest of Canaan. The two and half tribes return to their land and build an altar on the border…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #2: Time & Resources

Dt. 5:12-15, Gal. 2:16-20, Mt. 6:19-34 Introduction The mission of Jesus is to baptize the nations and teach them everything He commanded. This is how you distinguish between God providing in what seems like scarcity and folly. If God commands it, then He promises to provide for it. Justification is God’s gracious gift of setting…

Knowing Christ

Luke XXXIV: Lk. 9:18-27 Introduction In our text today, Jesus asks His disciples the most important question of all time: Who am I? Who is Jesus? The answer to this question is the center of the Christian faith. Prayer Avails Much One of the lessons of the book of Luke is that prayer matters. The…

A Tale of Two Daughters

Luke XXXII: Lk. 8:40-56 [Note: A recording of this sermon is available here.] Introduction Like the two episodes earlier in the chapter, these two are paired together intentionally: it’s a tale of two daughters and the power of faith in Jesus to save. The Two Daughters Notice all the similarities between the two stories: First,…

Liturgical Patriarchy

If I were to write an article about the dangers of patriarchy, my blog hits would spike the way peoples’ hair stands on end in the cartoons when they get electrocuted. Start talking about the husband being the head of his wife or the wife’s sacred duty of submission to her own husband, and everybody…

Christ Lives In Me

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) There is no other kind of Christian life….

Catholicity & Excellence

Over the years, one of the virtues we have sought to cultivate at Trinity is a deep and rich catholicity. And we have wanted to express that geographically, denominationally, as well as historically. The Church, the Body of Christ, is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic as the creed says. So with that One Church, we…