Israel & the Rich Fool (Lk. 12:13-21)

It recently occurred to me that Jesus' parable about the Rich Fool in Luke 12 is very much related to Israel and the 1 st  century Jewish leaders. Luke is very explicit that the Pharisees were lovers of money (Lk. 16:14). Jesus Himself accused the Pharisees of being filled with greed and wickedness (Lk. 11:39). They were th...
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The Egalitarian Impulse of Atheism

As I mentioned in my sermon on the parable of the rich fool (Lk. 12), here are five biblical principles of wealth that must be recovered. Everything we have is a gift from God. We are accountable to God for how we steward His gifts. God blesses everyone immeasurably, but God distributes His blessings unequally. God ordinarily blesses faithfulness w...
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Faith & Infant Baptism

​ Jesus healed the paralyzed man in Luke 5 because He saw "their faith". We don't know if the paralyzed man had faith in Jesus' ability to heal him, but we do know that his friends did. Their faith in Jesus was very evidently manifested in their dogged determination to get their friend to Jesus. In my sermon, I talked about intercessory prayer as a...
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Adam, David, and King Jesus (Luke 4)

  Jesus as the New Adam The events surrounding Jesus' baptism remind us of the creation of the world described in Genesis: the Father speaking and the Spirit hovering over the waters. These connections show us that Jesus came to inaugurate a new creation even in the midst of this fallen world. Instead of abandoning the whole project and starti...
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Jesus and the Psalms

​ For thousands of years, God's people have almost always recognized that the Book of Psalms (a.k.a. "the Psalter") is a very special part of God's word. We know this from all the sermons and writings about the Psalms throughout church history, but we also see evidence of this in the fact that Jesus and the Apostles quote the Psalms more than any o...
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The Fact of the Gospel

As I explained in my sermon on Col. 4:5-6, the New Testament, for the most part, treats evangelism as a natural byproduct of the church's faithful witness to the gospel in its manner of life together. Paul's assumption is that people will notice the way we live in community together and demand to know why. So when it comes time to give an answer an...
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Election Day Exhortation

In light of today's mid-term elections, I wanted to remind you of some very important truths to keep things in perspective. It is a long standing tradition in this country for pastors to preach election-day sermons, but an email exhortation will have to suffice this time. I know I sound like a broken record, but this is one foundational truth ...
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The Way Things Really Are

One very important benefit of a robust, traditional liturgy is that it recalibrates our perspective of the world and reorients our priorities. Just like Asaph in Ps. 73, we often get discouraged when we observe the apparent triumph of evil in the world around us. We can easily fall into despair and bitterness when we see how the wicked seem to get ...
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No Time for Cowards

There are many points of biblical truth under attack in our culture today, but I think it's safe to say that God's design for human sexuality, marriage, and family are at the center of the conflict. This might be new in our culture in our lifetimes, but it is certainly not new for Christian families to be completely out of step with society. The ea...
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184 Hits

Stop Being Nice

To many in our society, especially in the church, it seems that being "nice" is the ultimate virtue and being "rude" is the ultimate vice. This is especially true for men and, most especially, for pastors. Pastors who are nice, sweet, empathetic, apologetic, and polite are often praised by the people in their congregations for being very "pastoral"...
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Rulers, Authorities, and the Elements of the World

Made a Little While Lower than the Angels From the very beginning, man was created as God's steward and vice-regent to exercise dominion under God's authority. Although Adam and his wife were created in God's image and "very good", they needed to grow in faith, maturity, and wisdom until God granted access to the tree of the knowledge of good and e...
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The Cross of Victory

  What is the cross of Jesus all about? Depends on who you ask. Many evangelical churches in America these days speak of the cross of Jesus primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of His suffering, agony, and death. In popular piety the cross has been turned into a tool to make you feel guilty for how rotten and wretched you. It was your sins,...
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Further Thoughts on the Glory and Scandal of the Gospel

Here's a little thought experiment: could your version of the gospel get you thrown in jail, beaten, accused of treason, or killed? Could you start a riot by publicly proclaiming the gospel? Could any pastors today be accused of turning the world upside-down like Paul was in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9)? What's so scandalous about the ...
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193 Hits