Scandalous Grace

One of the greatest scandals of the gospel is the free grace of forgiveness. But we say this, and I do not think we often let it sink in. The scandal of free grace is God’s love of sinners, God’s love of His enemies, His love of the worst kinds of evil people. We like…

Beauty on a Bloody Ground

Santiago & Kate, Psalm 145 is a song about the kingdom of God, about the majesty of God’s reign, and we know from our vantage even more fully what the psalmist is talking about because Jesus is God with us. Jesus is the perfect image of the invisible God. And He came proclaiming the Kingdom of…

A Proverb for Holy Week

Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Let’s look at what the Scriptures say about trusting the Lord. Trusting the Lord means obeying Him (Prov. 16:20). You cannot say you are trusting the…

Sing Until the Spirit Lifts You Up

Why do we worship the way we do? Thus far, we’ve said that our worship follows the covenant renewal pattern – imitating the order of the sacrifices, it is liturgical – repeating many of the same things every week because we want to learn them and we come as children. And our worship seeks to…

A Different Way of Drinking

As you know, we are not a community of teetotalers. If you go to dinner at one another’s houses, it is not rare to be offered beer or wine with dinner. And of course at the center of our celebratory culture is the Lord’s Supper, a feast of bread and wine. This is a wonderful…

What Are People For?

Introduction Today we begin a new topical sermon series: What Are People For? We will be talking about people, men, women, relationships, children, and family life. We will be looking at what the Bible says we were created for and specifically how salvation by grace through faith in Jesus gives people purpose, mission, vocation, usefulness,…

Praisemakers

There are many uncertainties in life. Will I get married? Will I have children? Will I die young? Will it hurt? Will the economy collapse? Will I get the job I hope for? Will I succeed? How will I be remembered? But part of the grace of Jesus is how He cuts through our questions….

The Two Kinds of People in the World: Psalm 32

One of the challenges of reading, praying, and singing the psalms is the fact that they often divide the world in half. The Psalms constantly draw lines in the sand: good guys and bad guys, righteous and unrighteous. This is challenging and troubling because we know that the world is actually a really messy place….

Parables & Dark Sayings

Psalm 78 calls Israel to hear a “parable” (mashal) and a “dark saying” (cheedah) (cf. Ps. 49). Proverbs opens introducing wisdom that will give the simple tools to understand the “parable” and the “dark saying.” So what are “parables” and “dark sayings” anyway? Though not exhaustive definitions, the first uses of these words in the…

Another Cup of Mercy

The Psalmist says that workers of deceit will not dwell in His house. Psalm 101 is fulfilled in Jesus, and so He sings these words to His Father as He reigns now in glory, putting all of His enemies beneath His feet. So how shall we stand in His presence? How can we sit here…