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 […]

Romans, Lesson 22: Life with Others, Both Christians and Non-Christians

In Chapter 12, Paul brought us to his great “therefore” in the book of Romans.  This “therefore” followed his presentation on God’s grace for our salvation, since all things are “from [God] and through Him and to Him.”  Paul continues his exploration on what this means on how we live as God’s people, listing a […]

1 Corinthians, Lesson 22: Love is a Verb

Having dealt with those who were misusing spiritual gifts (or doing what they thought were expressions of their spiritual gifts, but were not), Paul now moves to his main train of thought. He finished chapter 12 with these words: “And now I will show you the best way of all” (1 Corinthians 12:31). 1 Corinthians […]

1 Corinthians, Lesson 12: It’s Not About “Rights”

Paul is viewing life based on the reality that Christ could return at any time. Jesus’ birth, death, and ascension into heaven means that God has accomplished everything needed for Jesus’ return. That’s why Paul says, “The present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31). Paul now applies that same worldview to […]

1 Corinthians 13: Love

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus told His disciples of His impending death. Someone will betray Him; others will ridicule, spit on, and kill Him. And although Jesus’ words were straightforward and clear, His disciples didn’t understand them. For this world doesn’t understand true love, the love that drove Jesus to die to give us His […]

1 Peter 1:17-25: Loving Others with a Pure Heart

What is love? How would you define it? If we were to ask people that question, many, maybe most of them would say, “Love is a feeling,” and then go on from there. But with God, love isn’t a feeling. With God, love is a verb, an action. For “God shows his own love for […]

Being in the world but not of it

This is our pastor’s article for the November 29th edition of the Stone County Gazette.   Psalm 1:1 tells us: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in step with the wicked, take the path of sinners, or sit in the company of mockers.” If you remember the Old Testament story of Lot, he […]

Hebrews 10:19-25: Spurring One Another On

God wants you to be calculated and deliberate.  He tells us: “consider how we may spur one another on to love and good works.”  That’s what the word “consider” means.  It doesn’t mean doing something at the last moment, in an impromptu way.  It means thinking about something ahead of time. So, God wants you […]

1st John, Lesson 2: Love vs. Its Antitheses

Love vs. Hate Read 1 John 2:1-6 Excursus: Hilosmos Hilosmos: This is the Greek term, which the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) used for the Atonement Cover on the Ark of the Covenant.  There, in the Old Covenant, the High Priest poured the blood of the sacrifices on the Ark, covering sin, represented […]

In Love, Jesus Chose You: John 15:9-17

All religions demand some form of obedience.  Now that doesn’t mean that all religions are the same.  For God has only revealed Christianity to be true.  That’s because Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God.  He is the One-and-Only of the Father.  He not only reveals to us the Father’s love, but He […]