Showing posts from August, 2023

With Christ: In But Not Of The World

This post is derived from the manuscript that was the basis of a presentation from Grace Communion Seminary faculty member Dr. Gary Deddo at the July 2023 Grace Communion International Denominational Celebration in North Carolina, USA. "Follow Me" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with artist's permission) Introduction Who is Jesus Christ? All of Scripture is aimed at answering this important question. Our challenge in understanding how Scripture does this is to gather up the pieces of the puzzle that make up Jesus' portrait. Doing so is a life-long task, getting to know more and more of who Jesus is, not just what he did, nor the names and labels we have for him. There is no shortcut—we must continually read and review Scripture with special concentration on the life of Christ and especially what we learn from his telling us of his relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit. As we do this, our faith and lives become more and more a response to all of who our Triune Go

Reader’s Guide: T. F. Torrance, “The Sovereign Creator”

In this post,  Kerry Magruder  provides a reader's guide to "The Soveriegn Creator," which is chapter 8 of Thomas F. Torrance's book " The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons " (1996). The guide was written for a session of the  T.F. Torrance Reading Group .  Introduction (pp. 203-204)  Belief in God as the Sovereign Creator is couched within our understanding of the saving love of the Triune God. We see this in the Nicene Creed: “While the concept of God as the Creator of the universe derived originally from the Old Testament revelation and had been developed by Judaism, it was radicalised through the New Testament teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ as the Word of God by whom all things that came into being have been created, from whom they derive their intelligible and lawful order, and through whom and in whom the whole universe of visible and invisible realities consists or is held together. In Jesus Christ the Lord God has himself beco

Advancing the Gospel (preaching resource for 9/24/23, 17th Sunday after Pentecost)

This post exegetes Philippians 1:20-30, providing context for the 9/24/23 RCL Epistles reading drawing on commentary from Warren Wiersbe ("Bible Expository Commentary") and Francis Foulkes ("New Bible Commentary"). "Without Purse or Scrip" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with artist's permission) Introduction  Note this statement from Paul, which gives us context for what we'll look at in this sermon from the first chapter of Philippians: Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. (Philippians 1:12) Desiring to advance the gospel into new territory, Paul had prayed and made detailed plans to travel to Rome. He knew that a beachhead in the capital city of the mighty Roman Empire would afford entrance into the far reaches of the Mediterranean world. His deep desire to get to Rome was eventually realized, but not in the way he planned. Rather than travelling there as a preacher, he went as a pris

Our Relationship with the Weak (preaching resource for 9/17/23, 16th Sunday after Pentecost)

This post exegetes Romans 14:1-15:13, providing context for the 9/17/23 RCL Epistles reading drawing on "The Expositor’s Bible Commentary" and John Stott's "The Message of Romans." Illustration from "Struggles of the early Christians" (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction In Romans 12 and 13 Paul presents love as the ethical center of the gospel—the ethic that fulfills the Law of Moses. In Romans 14:1-15:13 Paul then gives a lengthy example of how love is to be lived in the real circumstances of the church in Rome. The issue is the strained relations between two church groups, which Paul refers to as the ‘weak’ and the ‘strong’. His plea is that the ‘strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak’ (Rom. 15:1) and that the weak must not sit in judgment of the strong.  Who are the weak? There are four possibilities: 1.  New converts from paganism . There was such a group in Corinth (1Cor 8) whose over-sensitive consciences forbade them t