The Barren Gives Birth

Easter III: Lk. 1:5-7 Introduction We saw last week that Luke wrote this account in order to show how the gospel of Jesus makes sense. This “sense” is not based on pure human reason, but is like the good sense of a great story, full of mystery and tension culminating in deep, surprising joy and…

You Are This Story

What is resurrection life like? “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise…

Luke I: Christian Certainty

Easter II: Luke 1:1-4 [Note: the audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Today we begin the gospel of Luke, and we begin by considering who Luke was, how he came to write his gospel account, and the purpose for his writing. Who Was Luke? Luke is the author of two books of the…

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 Hope of Christian Joy: Palm Sunday 2015

Introduction What is joy? The Bible teaches and human experience frequently confirms that joy is more than a present experience of delight but is always also an anticipation of even better things to come. In other words, Christian joy flows directly out of Christian hope (Rom. 5:2). However, in the face of tragedy and hardships,…

How God’s Peace Makes War

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says that Christianity is a “fighting religion.” Of course Christians are right to put a great deal of emphasis on the peace of God. When the angels appeared to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem they proclaim peace on earth. And Paul says that when men and women cast all of their…

Mary’s Song

In the beginning there was song. It was a song that had never begun but wound through the ages ever new, ever old, ever glory, ever wonder. It was full of polyphony and harmony, a continuous blend of perfect rhythms and syncopations, musical themes, jokes, and resolutions, with a central refrain, a chorus of one…

Grace at Hand

Condemnation is the inexorable result of a guilty conscience. A sinner in the grip of guilt knows and feels the vast, impossible Grand Canyon between himself and the goodness of God and the goodness he was made for. In other words, condemnation underlines one reality — the reality of sinners before a just and holy…

The Long Game

Minor Prophets XVII: Zechariah 7-14 Introduction We saw last week that God was calling Israel to see the work of rebuilding the temple as a cosmic reality – that as they put God and His worship first, God would be remaking the world, scattering their enemies, and exalting His people. The rest of Zechariah is…

The Day of Joy & Judgment

Minor Prophets XIV: Zephaniah 1-3 Introduction Zephaniah is a prophecy of God’s coming in judgment on Jerusalem, but Zephaniah gives us a glimpse of the joy that drives the judgment. The Text: Zephaniah ministers during the reign of King Josiah, probably around 639-629 B.C., before the fall of Nineveh (1:1, cf. 2:13) and probably before…