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Archive for March, 2012

To be tempted is not to sin. Bill Mounce has done an excellent job of explaining the matter in this post. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is, read this article – please!

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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 3:8-24. A summary of my sermon in one sentence follows: God confronts sinners with justice and mercy.

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Sproul on Sin

R.C. Sproul is the author of probably the best quote I’ve ever read, or thought about, on the subject of sin. Here it is:

Every sin is an act of cosmic treason, a futile attempt to dethrone God in His sovereign authority.

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“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification (or holiness) without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

Alan Chambers wrote the following statement in his book Leaving Homosexuality:

The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness.”

That answer, which is fantastic and biblically true, applies to anything in life. It would be helpful if we remembered that, for ourselves first, but also when we try to help and encourage a brother and sister in Christ.

The answer to obesity is not being rail-thin. It’s holiness.

The answer to laziness is not workaholism. It’s holiness.

The answer to bad money management isn’t a course on budgeting. It’s holiness.

The answer to anger isn’t “serenity now.” It’s holiness.

The answer to unkind words isn’t silence. It’s holiness.

The answer to sexual promiscuity isn’t being celibate. It’s holiness.

The answer to worry isn’t being carefree. It’s holiness.

The answer to internet pornography isn’t filters. It’s holiness.

The answer to being overly emotional isn’t turning them off completely. It’s holiness.

The answer to loneliness isn’t being around a lot of people. It’s holiness.

The answer to grieving the loss of someone you love isn’t “getting over it.” It’s holiness.

The answer to a bad attitude isn’t an “attitude adjustment.” It’s holiness.

Holiness comes as we grow and mature in a daily walk and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word is part of that day-to-day life with Him. So is prayer, and so is fellowship with His people (the church). The answer to all of these things, and hundreds more, is discipleship – following Jesus every day. When our discipleship improves, all of these things will be changed because the Lord is changing us from the inside out.

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I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 3:1-7 this morning. A summary of my sermon in one sentence follows: Adam and Eve rebelled against God – committing cosmic treason – by believing Satan’s lies; they doubted God’s Word, doubted God’s goodness, denied God’s outright, and decided they could determine good and evil apart from God.

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Ed Welch, in his book Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave – Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel writes:

Theology makes a difference. It is the infrastructure of our lives. Build it poorly and the building will ultimately collapse in ruins. Build it well and you will be prepared for anything. The basic theology for addiction is that the root problem goes deeper than our genetic makeup. Addictions are ultimately a disorder of worship. Will we worship ourselves and our own desires or will we worship the true God? Through this lens, all Scripture comes alive for the addict. No longer are there just a few proof texts about drunkenness. Instead, since all Scripture addresses our fundamental disorder of worship, all Scripture is rich with application for the addict.

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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 2:18-25. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: God created the first woman – Eve – and gave her to Adam as a gift to be his wife, partner, companion, and helper in fulfilling His purposes.

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The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5 through 7 – is one of the most well-known and quoted passages in all of Scripture. But what does it mean? Jesus makes some unusual and even startling statements. The following five books help us get a handle on it. Of course there are more than five good books on Matthew 5-7, but these are a good lace to start. Please add your own, too.

  1. The Sermon on the Mount by James Montgomery Boice.
  2. Christian Counter-Culture by John R.W. Stott.
  3. The Sermon on the Mount: An Evangelical Exposition of Matthew 5-7 by D.A. Carson
  4. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7 by John MacArthur. The section on the Sermon on the Mount is contained within a larger commentary, but MacArthur’s actual commentary would be book-length by itself.
  5. The Sermon on the Mount by Daniel Doriani.

Enjoy!

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The sons of Issachar supported David before he officially became king of Israel. God had chosen and anointed David as king to replace Saul, but it hadn’t taken place yet. He was a king in waiting.

Nevertheless, thousands upon thousands of his countrymen came to his aid when he was in Hebron, “to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 12:23). Men of the tribe of Issachar are listed, too: “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsman were at their command” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

What is noticeable is what’s missing – no “warriors” in the sense of military men. All of the other tribes contributed warriors ready to fight, but the sons of Issachar provided men who had knowledge, insight, and wisdom. They may have been able to fight as well, but it’s interesting that they alone have the designation of understanding the times and of knowing what Israel should do.

The men of Issachar joined the battle – which they fully supported – by giving what they had to the cause. They had wisdom, insight, and knowledge (and probably good minds for military strategy), not to mention a deep knowledge of and trust in God. They may not have been good with a shield and a spear, but they had other skills that were valuable to the king.

What gifts, talents, and abilities has God given you? Use them – whatever they might be – for God’s glory and the building of His kingdom.

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I had the privilege this of preaching on Genesis 2:16-17 this morning. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In the garden of Eden, God tested Adam’s obedience to Him (and later Eve’s) by making a covenant with him, gave him commands, and announced consequences for disobedience.

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