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 […]

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 […]

1 Peter: Lesson 2 Preparing His Hearers

Intro In this section, Peter uses classical rhetoric, writing an “exordium” to prepare his recipients for what is to follow.  The purpose is to prepare them to be more well-disposed and ready to receive his instruction. So, this section includes no explicit exhortations or commands.  Instead, Peter wants his recipients to hear him without being […]

Mark 4:35-41, Revelation 14:13: Donna Kind-Gappa’s Funeral Sermon: Blessed are the Dead Who Die in the Lord

The story is the tale of your life, soaked into the bones and marrow of your being.  The sun warms your face, but distant thunder cleaves your ears.  Soon, dark clouds banish the brightness, and blackness descends, unasked for and unwanted. The still waters rebel and lash out in chaos.  Venomous bile stings your throat, […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral Homily: Baptism Does What?

John 3:1-7, 14-17; Genesis 7:11-13, 22-23; 8:1, 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-21 Sometimes, someone enters your life who speaks the truth, flowing from a heart of love, without pretense or agenda.  Whenever a friend like this becomes part of your life, don’t let him go.  Such people are rare.  Don’t allow being comfortable to obstruct genuine […]

Being Fully Human: Lesson 3

In His Body, Christ Redeemed Us, Bringing Us into His Body To save us, Jesus became incarnate, which means the eternal God also became fully human by His human birth.  As both God and man, He considered it necessary to become a physical being to save us physical beings.  In His human nature, He became […]

The Baptism of Our Lord: Genesis 1:1-5: Creation Teaches Us About Re-Creation

To the first ticking of time, and before the creation of time, Moses takes us back to the beginning.  From his words, he allows us to peek into those moments of prehistory when only God existed, and we find primordial chaos.  One thing is evident—in the emptiness of the void, life is powerless to blossom […]

Reformation 2: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 9-14; Romans 6:1-4; John 3:1-6, 16: Baptism

A Syrian commander, a well-respected military leader, who won the respect of his King.  Still, something can come along in your life and undo much of what you built up over the years.  Such is Naaman.  For a fearsome affliction—leprosy—now overshadows his imposing warfighting skills and combat prowess. To protect others from the infectious contagion, […]

Church History, Lesson 9: Letters to Non-Christians about Christ and His Church

Intro Today, we focus on two sets of letters written to non-Christians.  The first is by Pliny the Younger, a provincial Roman governor; the second by Justin Martyr, a Christian.  Both lived in the 2nd century.   Pliny the Younger (61- 113 AD) As the Governor of Bithnia, in 112-13 AD, Pliny wrote to Emperor […]

Church History, Lesson 1: The New Covenant Begins

This is a new study series, which begins with Jesus establishing the New Covenant and finishing (we hope) with the Church recognizing and listing the texts of both the Old- and New-Testament Scriptures in 397 AD. Jesus Establishes What Is to Take Place in His Church   The New Covenant Ready to go to the cross, […]