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Archive for the ‘truth’ Category

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This morning, I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga of Southwest Hills Baptist Church preach on John 16:1-15 (“Preparing for the Coming Opposition – Part 2”). Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: During the opposition that is sure to come, the Lord Jesus keeps us from stumbling through truth (His Word) and by the work of His Holy Spirit.

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This is material that didn’t quite make it into my sermon on Philippians 1:9-11.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment (Phil. 1:9).

Commenting on this verse, John MacArthur wrote in Reckless Faith,

Those who think of faith as the abandonment of reason cannot be truly discerning. Irrationality and discernment are polar opposites. When Paul prayed that the Philippians’ love would “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment” emphasis added), he was affirming the rationality of true faith. He also meant to suggest that knowledge and discernment necessarily go hand in hand with genuine spiritual growth.

Biblical faith, therefore is rational. It is reasonable. It is intelligent. It makes good sense. And spiritual truth is meant to be rationally contemplated, examined logically, studied, analyzed, and employed as the only reliable basis for making wise judgments. That process is precisely what Scripture discernment.

Steven Cole, in his sermon on the same passage – after he quoted MacArthur – wrote,

The mood today is that if you are critical of anyone’s doctrinal or personal life, no matter how unbiblical they may be, you are not loving and you are arrogant to judge this person. Jesus’ words, “Judge not, lest you be judged” (Matt. 7:1) are wrenched out of context and misapplied. If people would just keep reading, Jesus goes on to say, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6). How can you determine if someone is a dog or a swine if you don’t make discerning judgments? A few verses later He warns us to beware of false prophets who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). It takes a discerning sheep to see that this isn’t a fellow-sheep whom we need to embrace, but a ravenous wolf we need to avoid!

 

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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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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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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 21:24-25. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The Gospel of John, as well as the entire Bible, is authentic, authoritative, and sufficient.

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D.A. Carson answers the question of why the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so important, and not simply a matter of speculation or opinion. In his commentary on the Gospel of John (which has been invaluable to me as I preach through John), he writes,

For John, as for all the early Christians, the resurrection of Jesus was the immutable fact upon which their faith was based; and their faith in large part depended on the testimony and transformed behaviour of those who had actually seen the resurrected Jesus. Their Master was not in God’s eyes a condemned criminal; the resurrection proved that he was vindicated by God, and therefore none less than the Messiah, the Son of God he claimed to be. The culminating faith that brings the disciples out of the era of the Mosaic covenant and into the era of the saving sovereignty of God mediated through the Son is based on the sheer facticity of the resurrection (20:8, 24-29) – or, better put, such faith trusts Jesus as resurrected Lord. Nor is John alone on the non-negotiability of the resurrection, for Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God that He raised Christ from the dead…And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:14-17).

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rodin-thinker

“God is not easily understood by His creation, and His actions and purpose are far above our finite ability to comprehend.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 says,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

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