Sermon and Sunday School (2/7/16)

This past Sunday, we continued our walk through the gospel of Mark by looking at Mark 1:14-20. Notes and audio can be found here.

We also continued looking at Revelation by looking at Revelation 2:1-7. Jesus Himself commends the Church at Ephesus for their good works and sound doctrine, but He rebukes them for doing those things without the love they had at first. Notes and audio can be found here.

Live By the Word (Ephesians 1:15-20)

After describing – and praising God for – the blessings He has given to those who are “in Christ” in 1:3-14, Paul shifts his attention to the readers themselves in 1:15-20. Not only does He care about God and what God has done, he clearly cares about his readers. In these verses, we see Paul’s heart for the Ephesians as well as his prayer for them. By God’s design, this shows us the heart we should have for others as well while also reminding us of some things that we must not forget.

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Live By the Word (Genesis 6-7)

Beginning in Genesis 6, we see just how far God’s good creation has fallen from its original state. The sin that caused Cain to kill his brother in Genesis 4 and that produced the universal death repeated so emphatically in Genesis 5 has clearly infected everything. And in the face of such blatant, rampant wickedness, God demonstrated His holiness by unleashing wrath on the entire created order. Genesis 6-7 show us the real – and frightening – fact of God’s hatred of sin. At the same time – just like the chapters before – these chapters also give us a glimpse of the mercy of God woven into the ferocious judgment.

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The Bible is Necessary (Scripture, Part 5)

“Need” is a strong word. There are lots of things we want and lots of things we would enjoy, but the list of things we need is probably far shorter than we would often like to admit. In light of that fact, is it fair to say that we “need” the Bible? Is it right to say that the Bible is “necessary”? It certainly is fair and right. While God’s existence – and some of His character – can (and are) known by all people whether they have the Bible are not, the only way a person can know the good news about Jesus and have certain knowledge of God’s will is through hearing the Word of God. In that sense, God’s Word – as given to us in the Bible – is absolutely necessary and essential for the most significant parts of life.

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Remember the Things You Cannot See

The Christian life – as most Christians will tell you – is a life of faith. It is by grace through faith that we are saved (Eph. 2:8). We know that a person is not brought into a right relationship with God by works but through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16). And even after we are initially saved, the life we live is lived by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20). We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

But what does that mean? That question can be a bit harder to answer. There are numerous places you can go in the Bible that will provide some guidance, but fundamentally, the Bible’s answer seems to be that faith is living as if the words of God are true. Put differently: faith is living in light of truth that we cannot see.

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Live By the Word (Ephesians 1:11-14)

We have seen that Paul is using these early verses of Ephesians to remind us of the spiritual blessings God has poured out on His people. He has spoken of election and adoption and redemption. Now, beginning in verse 11, Paul speaks of the amazing reality that God has made us an inheritance for Himself. Put more simply: God has chosen us to be His treasured possession – just like He did with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. This is blessing indeed!

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Sunday’s Sermon and Sunday School (1/31/16)

This past Sunday, we continued our walk through the book of Revelation by looking at Revelation 1:9-20 in which John describes the vision he received of the risen Jesus in the fullness of His glory. Notes and audio can be found here.

In Sunday School, we continued looking at the Gospel of Mark by discussing Mark 1:1-13. Notes and audio can be found here.

Live By the Word (Genesis 5)

At first glance, Genesis 5 can seem like a very boring – and unnecessary – chapter in the Bible. The entire chapter is a genealogy in which we are told: “When Person A lived a certain number of years, he fathered Person B. Person A then lived a certain number of years after he fathered Person B and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of person A were this many years.” While such information might seem mildly interesting to certain people, the majority of us probably will not be riveted by it. However, if we consider this chapter rightly, we will see that it proclaims some important truths about the world and about humans in particular. Put simply: Genesis 5 stands as a stark reminder of both the judgment and the mercy of God.

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