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Showing posts from July, 2022

Living by Faith in Jesus (sermon resource for 8/28/22)

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This post exegetes Hebrews 13:1-21, drawing on multiple sources including commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary), F.F. Bruce (Epistle to the Hebrews) and D.A. Carson (New Bible Commentary). “Jesus and the Canaanite Woman,” by Pieter Lastman (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)   Introduction Hebrews chapter 11 gives us examples of faithful people. Chapter 12 then exhorts us to persevere in the faith. And now in chapter 13 we are given ‘real-world’ examples of living by faith in Jesus.  Here we find the life-style of a follower of Jesus. Of course, Christians are not ‘yellow pencils’, nor are they perfect; but in their lives you will find certain defining characteristics. This chapter gives four: 1) they love others, 2) they are responsive to church leaders, 3) they are given to worship, and 4) they are yielded to Jesus. Let's explore each one. 1. Love for others (13:1–6) Love for others is a preeminent Christian virtue. We see this clearly in Jesus' own

The nature of the resurrection event

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This post from Torrance scholar Roger Newell  summarizes chapter four of  " Space, Time and Resurrection " by T. F. Torrance. Roger wrote this post for a meeting of the  Torrance Reading Group . For addtional chapter summaries, click on the number:  1 ,  2 , 3 , 5 . "Christ Appearing to the Apostles after the Resurrection" by Czechowicz  (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Key points Chapter four in Space, Time and Resurrection  seeks to “think together” the relation between  the new order of being which is the New Creation and the present order which is passing away, and the new humanity launched by the resurrected Christ and our humanity that continues within on-going space-time. In that regard, here are key points in Torrance's presentation: 1. The resurrection of Jesus is an event in continuity with past history while also opening history into a New Creation on the other side of decay and death, judgement, in the fullness of a new world and new order. “How

Relying on God's Grace (sermon resource for 8/21/22)

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This post exegetes Hebrews 12:14-29, drawing on multiple sources including commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary), F.F. Bruce (Epistle to the Hebrews) and D.A. Carson (New Bible Commentary). Paradiso  (a vision of Heaven, public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction Due to persecution, the original Jewish Christian readers of Hebrews were being tempted to abandon faith in Jesus to return to Judaism. In Hebrews chapter 12, the author exhorts them to persevere in the faith, emboldened by the great examples of faith described in chapter 11. In giving this exhortation, the author utilizes two analogies: sports and citizenship . These two were intertwined in a culture where sports were prized for personal well-being and victory in sports for bringing honor to the community.  The exhortation to perseverance begins with encouragement to shed any hindrances to running well: “Throw off everything that hinders” (Heb. 12:1). In that day, runners wore weights in training

Persevere through the Faith of Jesus (sermon resource for 8/14/22)

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This post exegetes Hebrews 11:29-12:2, drawing on multiple sources including commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary), F.F. Bruce (Epistle to the Hebrews) and D.A. Carson (New Bible Commentary). The Battle of Jericho (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) In Hebrews chapter 11 (sometimes called the 'faith chapter') we are given stories that illustrate what faith looks like. Most of these stories involve the children of Israel. Note v29: By faith the people [of Israel]  passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. This is a reference is to the flight (exodus) out the children of Israel out of Egypt. It was a harrowing, risky journey of faith--leaving behind the known of Egypt for the unknown of the Promised Land. Key to that journey was the faith of Israel's leader, Moses. The author of Hebrews tells the story of Israel's exodus so that we as followers of Jesus might be strengthened in our faith--

The resurrection and the atoning work of Christ

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This post from Torrance scholar  Paul D. Molnar  summarizes chapter three of Thomas F. Torrance's book " Space, Time and Resurrection ." Paul wrote this post for a meeting of the   Torrance Reading Group . For additional chapter summaries, click on the number:  1 , 2 , 4 ,  5 . Resurrection of Christ  by Rubens (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) As indicated by the title of  Space, Time and Resurrection chapter 3   ("The Resurrection and the Atoning Work of Christ"), Torrance insisted on holding together both the incarnation and the resurrection. For Torrance, Jesus it is the incarnate Word who lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father vicariously for our benefit. Thus, Torrance would never separate Jesus’s humanity from his divinity with a Christology “from below” that refused or failed to acknowledge his uniqueness as God become man at the outset. Because Torrance never did that, he held that incarnation and resurrection could never be separated with

The Superior Faith (sermon resource for 8/7/22)

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This post exegetes Hebrews 11:1-16, drawing on multiple sources including commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary), F.F. Bruce (Epistle to the Hebrews) and D.A. Carson (New Bible Commentary). Abraham Serving the Three Angels (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction We come now to chapter 11 in the New Testament book of Hebrews. Prior to this, its author tells us that Jesus is the Superior Person (chapters 1-6), who has the Superior Priesthood (chapters 7-10). These truths form the basis for the Christian faith, namely allegiance to and trust in Jesus only. This faith is Superior Faith because it is greater than that offered by the old covenant under the Law of Moses. Because they were being persecuted for their trust in Jesus, the original Jewish Christian readers of this epistle were tempted to return to the inferior faith of the old covenant. It’s easier for all of us to trust in the known and visible, than in the invisible realities of God.  Hebrews cha

Christ-centered Living (sermon resource for 7/31/22)

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This post exegetes  Colossians 3:1-11 , drawing on multiple sources including commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary) and Peter T. O’Brien (New Bible Commentary). Christ with His Disciples by Mironov (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction  The theology of Paul’s epistles centers fully on Jesus and the creation and outworking of the union that all humanity has with him. Our personal realization of and active participation in that union proceeds in three interrelated steps:   1. Belong . This is the declaration of what is true already of all humanity, namely, that in and through Christ (our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer), God includes all humanity in his life and love. He has made us all his dearly loved children. And he has done this for us and to us, apart from any work or merit of our own. It’s thus his gift of pure grace. And now the Spirit brings us a choice: to believe or not. 2. Believe . This is the invitation to change our thinking about God a