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 […]

Luke 16:1-9: The Dishonest Manager

The beginning of Luke’s Gospel: A pregnant virgin sings, rejoicing in her God.  The Lord “toppled the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.  The hungry, he filled with wondrous things but sent away the rich with nothing” (Luke 1:52-53).  The song of Mary sets the stage.  The rest of Luke’s written Gospel highlights […]

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 […]

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 […]