Pastor Note #75 — Abortion and Following the Path of Jesus

What is the goal for the Pro-Life movement in America?  Is the goal that we should strive to make abortion illegal?  Or is the goal that we should strive to end abortion?  It’s very important that we should recognize that those two are not the same goal.  I will assert that those who believe that … Continue reading

Pastor Note #73: No “Us” and “Them”: Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love

No “Us” and “Them”:  Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love A Sermon Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church on August 20, 2017 Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Venice Presbyterian Church Cecil Township, PA Acts 15:1-21 Since you can’t help but notice it, let me acknowledge that I’m going to do something here this morning that … Continue reading

Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak

Deuteronomy 22:6-7 [ESV] “If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it … Continue reading

Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Loving Each Other in Words The sad truth is that not all churches are places where people treat each other well.  Some churches can become notorious for the way their people are prone to fight and mistreat each other.  Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love … Continue reading

Sermon #48 — “Words from the Beloved Apostle: Love, Obedience, and Power” — 1 John 5:1-5

“So, without love, there can be no hearty submission to the will of God, and there can be no real and heartfelt trust and confidence in him.”  Jonathan Edwards In Christ, God has victoriously asserted this redeeming power over the fallen world to set it right, a work into which he calls us to be … Continue reading

Sermon #47 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Father’s Running Embrace — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 5 (Easter)

  _ “If believers’ eyes are turned to the power of the resurrection,  in their hearts the cross of Christ will at last triumph over the  devil, flesh, sin, and wicked men.” John Calvin           God’s love for us is in place before we ever do anything to deserve it.  God … Continue reading

Sermon #46 — “Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Looking for Home” — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 4

“Is it not the very essence of the Christian hope,  that we shall be changed from much bad to all good?” George MacDonald, 19th century Scottish Preacher and Writer. By taking upon himself the painful, humiliating consequences of our sin, God breaks our self-centered pride, plants the true humility of repentance in us, ans so … Continue reading

Sermon #45 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: In the Valley of Despair — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 3

  “Full often the most advantageous place for our manhood is that which is surrounded with splendid difficulties.” Charles H. Spurgeon When we attempt to live for ourselves and by means of ourselves, our lives become twisted and ruined, because God has designed us to live for him and by means of him, which is … Continue reading

Sermon #44 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Into the Place of Emptiness — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 2

 “Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty, because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul.” Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) In Sermon #43, I began an exploration of this most famous of all parable, commonly called the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.”  In that first installment, I discussed the context.  We saw … Continue reading

Sermon #43 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Itching for Something Else — Luke 15:11-32

“Nearly everyone who wrestles seriously with this [parable of the “Prodigal Son”] ends up with a sense of awe at its inexhaustible content.”  Kenneth Bailey Who is the Father that Jesus talks so much about?  What is he like and what does that mean for us?  This is the first of a series of sermons … Continue reading