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…

Why I Discourage Making the Sign of the Cross

So I need to say a few words to my congregation about making the sign of the cross, but it’s the kind encouragement and exhortation that I don’t mind others listening in to and applying to their own situations with wisdom, so I’m posting it here. Anyone who attends Trinity Reformed Church knows that we…

Ash Wednesday 2017

  One of the striking elements of our Ash Wednesday service is the recitation of the curses of the covenant found in Deuteronomy 27. This was included in Thomas Cranmer’s original Ash Wednesday service, and Martin Bucer – John Calvin’s mentor – said it was a “particularly wholesome ceremony” and went so far as to…

When You Must Not Pity: Loving Enemies & False Accusations

In the Old Testament law, everything was to be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses (Dt. 17:6). Paul says in the New Covenant that we must not receive an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19). The same standard applies to church discipline…

The Dignity of Guilt

One of the most loving and dignifying things God does for human beings is insist that they take responsibility for their sin. This is one of the fundamental meanings of the words of Christ: If anyone tries to save his life, he will lose it, but if he loses it for my sake, he will…

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…

The Obedience of Faith

Advent IV: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made? How do you make decisions in general? Who do you trust to provide the right kind of information? What sorts of things do you fear? Our readings today focus on significant choices, comparing the obedience of faith and the…

Farming in the Wilderness

Advent III: Is. 35:1-10, Js. 5:7-11, Mt. 11:2-11 Introduction What are you waiting for? What do you long for? Advent is an annual reminder that Christians are a waiting people, and this in turn reminds us that there is a profound blessing to be found in learning to wait on the Lord. Two Prophets Isaiah…

A Signal for All Nations: The Politics of Advent

Second Sunday in Advent Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction The gospel of Advent, which is to say the gospel of Jesus, is irreducibly political: it aims at nothing less than the greatest common good and harmony of all men. The question is not whether people will have a Lord, the question is only…

The Sin of Cynicism

Luke XLII: Lk. 11:29-36 Introduction We live in an age of skeptics. Often this is presented as a thoughtful, intelligent position to take, but Jesus addresses the skeptics of his ministry as cynics and sloths. Jesus condemns those “who were seeking a sign” (Lk. 11:16) as evil and full of darkness. Therefore, it’s very important…