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Archive for March, 2016

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Why did Jesus teach in parables? That’s a good question, but the answer is not as clear as you might think. First of all, Jesus didn’t always use parables (or stories) when He taught. He only taught in parables after He was rejected by the Jewish leadership (mainly the Pharisees) who claimed He performed His miracles by the power of Satan. Second of all, the Lord Jesus didn’t teach in parables to make it easier for His hearers to understand. He taught in parables in order to hide His teaching from those who had rejected Him, and for those with ears to hear, they illustrate and clarify the truth.

John MacArthur makes those points well, and persuasively, in his book Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told. MacArthur provides what we’ve come to expect from him – a precise and thorough treatment of Scripture that’s both informative and challenging. Most of all, it’s faithful to Scripture.

Parables isn’t an exhaustive study of all of Jesus’ parables, but it does cover a number of them. The lessons drawn are timeless and much needed in today’s American church. I can recommend this book without any reservations whatsoever. Tolle lege!

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4713-Christ's Tomb_edited.630w.tn

I had the privilege this morning of preaching on the most amazing fact of history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed Paul’s life and can change ours – through it we’re justified, have help for today and hope for tomorrow.

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2013-05-14-thank-you

Holy Week weekend is the perfect time to express my profound thanks and gratitude to the Lord for everything He’s done for me.  The Lord Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to His Father – a life that I could never live; died a sacrificial death for my sins as my substitute – a death I should have died; and victoriously rose again from the dead to prove that He is who He claims to be and that He accomplished His mission – to save His people (including me) from their sins. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

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holiness

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 13:6-11. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The holiness we desperately need is graciously provided by the Lord alone.

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quotes-on-humility

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 13:1-5. The following is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Humility is based on knowledge and demonstrated through action.

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Jerry-Bridges

Jerry Bridges made a mark – he left an impression on many, many Christians of this generation and the last. He certainly made an impression on me. Jerry died within the last several days and his pursuit of holiness is over. He’s in the presence of the Lord, and has heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The Pursuit of Holiness was the first of his books I had the pleasure of reading. The first time I read it I was in college and it revolutionized the way I understood the Christian life and, specifically, the importance of holiness. I learned that holiness (being more and more set apart and pure) is to be actively pursued with strenuous effort, and that it isn’t something that just happens by itself. I’ve read The Pursuit of Holiness many times since then, and have even taught through the book several times with my Bible classes.

Bridges emphasized effort, to be sure, but always effort empowered by the Holy Spirit and as a result of God’s grace. In that vein, his writings on the gospel itself and the work of Christ are absolutely indispensable. He’s one of the few authors I can recommend wholeheartedly.

I had the privilege of listening to him preach at Western Seminary’s Spurgeon Fellowship several years ago. It was a great blessing to hear from a humble and faithful servant of Christ. I encourage you to read Justin Taylor’s tribute to Jerry here.

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john12.46-01

This morning I had he privilege of preaching on John 12:44-50. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Believe and follow Jesus while there is still time, because there may be a time when it’s too late.

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