Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

Now, if we preach Christ as raised from the dead, how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  Further, if Christ has not risen, our preaching is pointless, and so is your faith… and you are still in your sins.  So, this means those who fell asleep in Christ […]

Psalm 22 and Maundy Thursday

The end of Maundy Thursday finishes with our Altar Guild stripping the altar of its paraments to prepare for Good [God’s] Friday.  The lights are dimmed and the paraments are put away in reverence.  As this is taking place, the pastor chants Psalm 22. A Bit about the Structure of Psalm 22 After the invocation, […]

The Christian, COVID, and our Medical Authorities

Honor the physician for his services, according to your need of him. For the Lord created him, whose gift of healing comes from the Most High, and whom the king will reward. The physician’s skill will distinguish him, and, in the presence of the great, he will be admired. The Lord created medicines from the […]

Mark, Lesson 1: Introduction

By Pr Rich Futrell Overview With the events in his Gospel, Mark makes no attempt to link them to the historical events taking place within Judea or the Roman Empire.  Neither does Mark bother to explain the links between the various events he covers, the exception being what takes place during Christ’s passion.  Rather, his […]

The Monsters Among Us

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for October 2019. Ancient peoples dreaded the deep.  The darkened abyss gurgled with predatory beasts, fanged creatures to swallow you whole, hungering for more.  Today, those shrieking, mythical denizens still fill us with wonder, if not terror.  In the Bible, the book of Job mentions the leviathan and other […]

Subjective Justification

Recap and Intro Justification: God’s declaration of righteousness, which also establishes someone in a state of righteousness.  This can only happen because someone’s sins are forgiven.  (“Justification” can also refer to someone revealing his righteousness by how he lives, for example, in much of James.) Christ, in His saving work, justified the entire world.  Before […]

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 […]

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 […]