Matthew 7:15-23: False Prophets

“Beware of false prophets,” our Lord cautions.  The danger is real; otherwise, why did Jesus warn us with such words?  Now, if a false prophet can exist, so also can false teaching and worship.  From their mouths flow words of death, not life. “Enter through the narrow gate,” the warning continues.  Why?  The boulevard of […]

Objective Justification

This is a short series we’re studying on justification, with this first lesson on the objective reality of what Jesus did. Our Universal Condition The book of Romans reveals our universal human condition.  The writer, Paul, combines two Old-Testament passages to announce this reality. Masoretic Text Septuagint Romans Paul’s Point Ecclesiastes 7:20 There is none […]

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10: Vocation

How did we find ourselves in such an unsatisfying and uncivil place?  From our perspective of only a few decades, we realize the most basic of civilities are slinking away.  Too many people drive like jerks and yell at others for being too slow.  One person cries out against intolerance but is intolerant toward those […]

The Conundrum of Faith and Love

This is our pastor’s article for the Summer, 2019 edition of our newsletter. Faith The workings of a holy God are contrary to our sinful nature, for He is pure and we are not.  So, don’t let how He chooses to do things surprise you.  Still, we often are.  Reflect on faith, and you will […]

1 Peter: Lesson 13: Concluding Encouragement to Shepherd and Flock

Peter begins this section with a “so” or “therefore,” connecting this section to the previous one.  He ended chapter 4 with “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”  Now, Peter explores how pastors are to live out their vocation as they “entrust their souls […]

1 Peter: Lesson 12: Suffering and Its Implications

Last week, in 1 Peter 4:7, Peter finished with commanding Christians to have a “sound mind” and to be “sober.”  Both of these repeated what he earlier said.  First, to “arm yourselves with [Christ’s] way of thinking” (vs. 1).  Second, not participating in “drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties,” with all sinful behavior being an outgrowth of […]

Holy Trinity

Strange, indeed, is the Athanasian Creed.  Perplexed tongues undulate in unusual patterns, expressing what confuses us, as we quiver molecules of air about the mysteries of God.  The creed’s words speak of the blessed Trinity, on the threefold nature of God, whom we can never master.  No mere created being can comprehend the Creator’s mind […]

Acts 2: Pentecost

Intro To a people baptized in the waters of the Red Sea and now wandering in the wilderness, God came.  To make them His separate and distinct people, He gave them many rites and rituals.  Among these commanded worship forms (in Leviticus 23), we encounter Pentecost, a thanksgiving festival for the first crop of the […]

1 Peter: Lesson 11: Living Like the End is Near

Intro In 1 Peter 3:16, Peter mentioned Christians “having a good conscience.”  Later, he reveals baptism saves, as the appeal of a good conscience toward God.  Unless one never sinned, being righteous on his own, baptism can only save because, through it, God forgives, giving the “unrighteous” a clean conscience.   The Mind of Christ Peter […]

1 Peter: Lesson 10: The Good Conscience God Gives Us

Intro In 1 Peter 3:16, Peter mentions Christians “having a good conscience” but doesn’t tell us how this came to be—but he will.  Next, he writes: “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”  Verse 18 then follows as a continuation of 17, starting with […]