January 28, 2020

SERMON: Epiphany II (Ephesians 2:1-10)

SERMON: Epiphany II (Ephesians 2:1-10) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God […]

Sermon for Epiphany I: In Christ (Eph. 1:3-14)

SERMON for Epiphany I (Ephesians 1:3-14) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… (Ephesians 1.3) • The Lord be with you. On our recent trip to Europe something I hadn’t anticipated happened. One day we took the […]

SERMON: Sit, Walk, and Stand – The Three Postures of the Christian (Ephesians)

SERMON: Sit, Walk, and Stand – the 3 postures of the Christian (Ephesians) The Lord be with you. Today we are deviating from the church calendar in order to begin the Epiphany season. Epiphany is tomorrow, January 6. It is the time of the church year when we mark how Jesus brought light to our […]

“God’s people have begun to know the manger of their Lord.”

The great Raymond E. Brown has often been a guide to me when it comes to the Christmas narratives in the New Testament. Here is an example of his insight — applied to the Christmas Eve Gospel (Luke 2). May God grant us all a blessed Christmas Eve. • What is of importance is the […]

God’s Purpose and our Purpose

This morning I will be teaching to about 40 men in an addictions recovery program. I love these guys; they are very open, and very hungry spiritually. I will be going through Ephesians chapter 1, where the main idea is that our salvation is much broader than we usually understand, and also tied into God’s […]

Romans 5-8: The Gospel for Weak and Strong

It is right and good to finish reading Romans with chapters 5 through 8, because these chapters are not only the high point of the letter but the solution to the problems vexing the Weak and Strong relations in Rome’s house churches. • Reading Romans Backwards, p. 141 • • • Romans 5-8: The Gospel […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (2)

These chapters are far from abstract theology and are instead pastoral theology for the church at Rome. The questions Paul both asks and addresses are questions Paul has heard time and again in his mission, and the questions are those either of Jewish opponents or more likely of fellow Jewish converts to Jesus. The questions […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (1)

Paul’s polemic in Romans 1-4 with the Judge/Weak arises only because the Weak believe the path to moral transformation for the Strong can be achieved only by adopting and observing the Torah. Romans 1-8 occur then in two blocks: the argument against Torah observance as the path to moral transformation, and an argument in favor […]

What if Romans 9-11 is really the main point of Romans?

Pastorally, this means the entire narrative of Romans 9-11 is not about who gets saved in the deeply personal sense but about who the gospel agents are in God’s redemptive plans. It’s about where we are in the plan of God for cosmic redemption. • Reading Romans Backwards, p. 65 • • • What if […]

Another Look: A Horse of a Different Color

Another Look: A Horse of a Different Color This post was originally part of a series in which we reviewed this book: Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards & Brandon J. O’Brien IVP Books (2012) Misreading Scripture is one of the most important books […]