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Showing posts from November, 2022

A Christ-centered approach to doctrine and duty (preaching resource for 12/25/2022)

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This post exegetes Titus chapter 2, providing context for the 12/25/22 (Christmas Day) RCL Epistles reading. This exegesis draws on various resources, including commentary from John Stott. "St. Paul" by El Greco (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction In Titus chapter 1, Paul addresses the false teachers troubling the church on the island of Crete. Then in chapter 2, Paul turns to the responsibilities of his coworker Titus to behave in his ministry in Crete in a way that is entirely different from the false teachers, who profess to know God yet deny him by their teaching and actions (Titus 1:16). 'But as for you' (Paul writes to Titus) *you must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine* [sound teaching]' (2:1). Paul insists that doctrine and duty (behavior; ethics) go together. They must not be separated, and that includes within the home, which seems to be the primary scope of what Paul addresses in this chapter.   Out of the fount of sound doctrine

Paul on the gospel, the Romans, and evangelism (preaching resource for 12/18/22)

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This post exegetes Romans 1:1-17, providing context for the 12/18/22 (Advent 4) RCL Epistles reading. This exegesis draws on various resources, including John Stott's "The Message of Romans." Introduction As was common in first century letters within the Roman Empire, Paul begins his letter to the churches in Rome by introducing himself. He then quickly turns to the main themes of his letter: the gospel, the Romans, and evangelism.  Paul and the gospel (1:1-6) 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to th

Responding to Jesus’ kingdom ministry (preaching resource for 12/11/22)

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This post exegetes Matthew 11:2–12:50, providing context for the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel reading for 12/11/22 (Advent 3). This exegesis draws on commentary from "IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament" by Craig Keener, "New Bible Commentary" by RT France, and "Bible Knowledge Commentary" by Louis Barbieri. "Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea" by Tissot (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction So far in his Gospel, Matthew has focused on Jesus himself as the Kingdom’s king. Now his focus shifts to examine people’s response to Jesus’ kingdom ministry. Responses include doubt, glad acceptance, hostile accusation, enthusiasm, and even sheer puzzlement. The response that Jesus wants is deep commitment. Doubt (11:2-19) 2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" 4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to

Jesus’ baptism and authentication (preaching resource for 12/4/22)

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This post exegetes Matthew chapter 3, providing context for the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel reading for 12/4/22 (Advent 2). This exegesis draws on commentary from "IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament" by Craig Keener, "New Bible Commentary" by RT France, and "Bible Knowledge Commentary" by Louis Barbieri. “Baptism of Christ” by Bassano Introduction Matthew chapters 1 and 2 give an account of Jesus’ birth and infancy. Now in chapter 3, Matthew takes us forward about 30 years to events surrounding the start of Jesus’ public ministry. Matthew tells of John the Baptist’s proclamation, and Jesus’ baptism (which includes heaven’s affirmation).  John’s proclamation (3:1-12) 1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord,

Our relationship with the weak (preaching resource for 12/4/22)

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This post exegetes Romans chapters 14 and 15, providing context for the 12/4/22 (Advent 2) RCL Epistles reading. This exegesis draws on commentary from John Stott's "The Message of Romans". "Pentecost" by Maino (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction In Romans 12 and 13, Paul presents love (rather than the Law) as the ethical center of the gospel. He then goes on in Romns 14 and 15 to give a lengthy example of how love is to be lived in the real circumstances of the church in Rome. The issue being addressed is the strained relations between two church groups, which Paul calls the ‘weak’ and the ‘strong’. His plea is that the ‘strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak’ (Rom. 15:1) and the weak must not sit in judgment of the strong.  Who are the weak?  It's likely that they were Jewish Christians who, because of their uninformed consciences, felt it necessary to continue adherence to Jewish customs and regulations regarding diet and days.