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Archive for March, 2017

the-wrath-of-god

What is the wrath of God? It’s one of God’s attributes, but we may not hear much about it.

The wrath of God is His settled, righteous, perfect, holy, anger against sin. He is intensely angry at all sin and evil.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not [j]obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

For we have been consumed by Your anger
and by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
You have placed our iniquities before You,
our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
For all our days have declined in Your fury;
we have finished our years like a sigh.
 (Ps. 90:7-9)

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. and if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who only saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible” (J.I. Packer).

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6a00e3981f1e39883301310f1e2514970c-500wi

I had the privilege this morning of preaching the fourth sermon in a short series on God’s Design for Gender and Sexuality. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: As Christians, we must respond to transgenderism and transgender people (and everyone else for that matter) with clarity, conviction, and compassion.

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Law-Gospel2

If you don’t understand how sinful you are, you’ll never understand how gracious and merciful God is.

Greg Koukl, founder of Stand To Reason, asks us to participate in a thought-experiment to prove the point.

Have you read the Ten Commandments recently? Take a quick personal moral inventory by asking yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever given allegiance to anything else over God in your life?
  • Have you ever used anything as an object of worship or veneration?
  • Have you ever used God’s name in a vain or vulgar fashion?
  • Have you worshipped God on a consistent basis?
  • Have you disobeyed or dishonored your parents even once?
  • Have you murdered anyone, or even had harsh thoughts about someone (see Matt. 5:22)?
  • Have you had sex with someone other than your spouse, or even thought about it (see Matt. 5:28)?
  • Have you taken something that wasn’t yours?
  • Have you lied?
  • Have you hungered after something that didn’t belong to you?

Sound tough? It is. This is God’s Law. These are God’s requirements. Even in grammar school, 60% is a flunking grade, yet who among us has not violated each of these commandments many times, at least in spirit?

Reducing the Ten Commandments to only two doesn’t help, by the way. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40). Yet even the best of us violate these “minimal” requirements daily.

In your conversations, use both the Law and the Gospel. God’s Law is the mirror that shows us our need for the Savior. In Paul’s words, each of us is “shut up under sin” (Gal. 3:22). Our mouths have been closed, and we all have become accountable to God (Rom. 3:19). Saved by our own goodness? The Law gives us no hope other than Jesus’ righteousness.

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sinis

I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Romans 1:18-32 (as part of a short series on gender and sexuality from God’s perspective). Here is a summary of my sermon in the space of one sentence: God’s design for mankind and marriage, along with everything else, has been corrupted by man’s sin.

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Ge2

This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 2:18-25 (“God’s Design for Marriage” in a series called “God’s Design for Gender and Sexuality”). Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: God designed marriage to be a blessing, with a specific pattern, sequence, and order – all for His glory and our good.

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SoThat

Small words, which are sometimes called “the fine print,” can be extremely important. That’s especially true when it comes to the Bible – God’s Word.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

We learn first of the attributes of God. He is merciful and “the God of all comfort.” That’s who He is by nature.

Next, we learn of the action of God. He “comforts us in all our affliction.” Because of who He is, He gives aid and comfort to those of His children who are afflicted, or experiencing trials and tribulations (and who of us can say we haven’t been there ourselves?). Whatever the affliction may be, whether internal or external, God strengthens, encourages, soothes, and quiets us. Just about everyone of us  has “been there, done that, got the t-shirt.”

But if we’ve been on the receiving end of God’s comfort -and here’s where the “fine print” of small, but significant words come into play – we’re obligated to give it to others. God comforts us in all our affliction so that (don’t skip over those two small words!) we would give comfort to our brothers and sisters in Christ who are afflicted. “So that” is a “purpose clause,” which means what comes after is the reason, or purpose, of what came before. God comforts us in our afflictions (that’s the action that came before), in order that “we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (that’s what comes after).

God’s comfort is an incredible blessing, but it’s never meant to be hoarded. It’s meant to be shared and passed on. It’s like the infomercials we see on television – after telling us what the product is and asking us to buy it, they add the line, “But wait, there’s more!” In the same way, don’t read the first half of the sentence and then stop. Wait! There’s more! We’ve been comforted by the God of all comfort to give it to others who are suffering.

Don’t waste your affliction or the comfort you’ve received from God.

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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 1:1, 26-31. I began a short (hopefully) topical series on the topic of God’s Design for Gender and Sexuality. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: God created you (and everything else) in His image, for Himself, and with a purpose.

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