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Showing posts from October, 2013

Really, Truly Free

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Click here to listen to this sermon. An mp3 file is available upon request.

The text for today is John 8:31-32: “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, ‘If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples,and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Our text, like many other passages of Scripture, is often misused and taken out of context.The words “the truth will set you free” are isolated, so that any learning that might help us to find “truth” (whatever that may be) is praised.We see the words on libraries and as secular college mottoes.We hear them on the lips of our post-modern intellectual and political leaders.But we don’t hear Whose Word reveals the truth that sets us free.We don’t hear Who is the Truth that sets us free. And we don’t hear what it means to be really, truly free. And unfortunately this redefining of truth and freedom is not limited to the outside world.This goes …

Sound Teaching for Timid Tongues and Itchy Ears

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Click here to listen to this sermon. An mp3 file is available upon request.

The text for today is our Epistle lesson, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Convictions—those things that we have learned and firmly believe in—are important and formative.Some are very helpful because they’re based in truth.But sometimes we must give up long cherished convictions because we find out that the things that we were convinced are facts are not actually true. For instance: There was a time in my life when I was convinced that you could pop popcorn in water.I argued forcefully with my first grade teacher, Miss Winter when she tried to set me straight.It was about that same time, I believed that you put salt and pepper on your food to cool it off.On the theological side, I also remember a few years later believing the six days of creation were not literal twenty-four hour days, but longer periods of time; and that in the end times, believers would …

What You Have Heard from Me… Entrust to Faithful Men

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Click here to listen to this sermon. An mp3 file is available upon request.

The text for today is our Epistle, 2 Timothy 2:1-2: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:1-2).Here ends our text. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Trust me.After 13 years in the Office of Holy Ministry, I know.Remaining a faithful pastor is not easy.Preaching Christ crucified for sin does not set well in a culture where sin has been dropped from our vocabulary, and the “Christian life” is given priority over the Christ.Proclaiming Law and Gospel doesn’t go over well to a seeker-sensitive audience that prefers its itching ears be scratched with manageable law and cheap grace.Holding to absolute truth in an age of moral relativism and post-modernism is draining. Not that being a pastor was ever easy. I…

It's Not About You! It's About Christ for You!

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Click here to listen to this sermon. mp3 files are available upon request.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A man, positive that he’s done enough good works to enter heaven, stands in line for the final judgment.Coincidentally, Mother Teresa is one spot ahead.The man then hears God saying, “Frankly, Teresa, I expected a whole lot more out of you.”(A Jeff Pulse sermon opener cited by Peter J. Scaer.) Of course, like all such jokes with the judgment or entrance into the pearly gates as its theme, this one is also apocryphal.It’s never going to happen.But it does contain an element of truth.There isn’t anyone, even Mother Teresa, who is going to make it into heaven based upon good works or personal merits.All our righteousness is like filthy rags.Jesus says as much in our text, Luke 17:10: “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.” Pretty simple, but that doesn’t mak…