Sermon #64–Death Defeated, Part 1: What is Death?

Death is all around us.  It is woven into the fabric of our world.  It’s not supposed to be like that.  But it is like that.  The Bible has a lot to say about death, because we need to understand death–its origins, its meaning, its consequences for us, and its remedy.  This message is the … Continue reading

Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Our natural and unashamed expectation should be that where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, healing — miraculous, supernatural healing — should be present.  Although it is the case that miraculous healings can and do serve as confirmation of the truthfulness of the preaching, that isn’t the more important reason why gospel preaching and … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #1 Healing and Redemption

“. . .  Jesus is working to restore the original vision of creation.  Jesus starts from the innermost part of us, the seat of our relationship with God, and works outward to include our physical being.  This process is like what [C. S.] Lewis called ‘death working backwards,’ as the ravaging effects of the Fall … Continue reading

Sermon #55 — The Victor’s Battle Cry and our Easter Victory Gift

AN AUDIO SERMON [see link below] By rising from the dead — raising us up with him — Jesus Christ has won the great victory and has, thus, restored to us our eternal significance which death had stripped us of. Death is a powerful and ever-present reality for human beings.  And for us death doesn’t … Continue reading

Sermon #54 — Famine in the Land, Part 1

God made us to live purposefully in communion with him, and so when human creatures are out of communion with God, they live with an anxious, aimless urgency which is destructive to them. This is a fundamental truth of human existence and a reality of human experience that I know well personally.  It seems that … Continue reading

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … Continue reading

Sermon #53–The Fullness of God: Alive in Christ

The Core Idea Behind this Sermon:  Because Jesus Christ is “the fullness of God in bodily form,” and because we are “in Christ,” the transforming power of Christ’s presence and identity is applied to our lives, making us genuinely new beings, who are forgiven in Christ, made alive in Christ, and who triumph in Christ … Continue reading

Prayer Note #49 — A Prayer for Those Who Know Their Sins Well

Without your mercy, I will die. Apart from your forgiveness, you will consume me in the fires of your holy judgment. How can I live apart from you? I would be lost entirely! Yet, how can I live in your presence? I should be devoured by your holy wrath! I will hide in Jesus. In … Continue reading

Prayer Note #47–A Prayer for Pure Pleasure

Lord, my Shepherd, shepherd my wayward will.  Keep prodding me back onto the right path.  You see my mind — how it wanders after pretty, poisonous pleasures.  I beg your help.  Keep me from pursuing those enticing, envenomed enchantments Capture my heart with visions of your true joy, the powerfully pure pleasures of your kingdom.  … 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