John the Baptizer

The great figure of Advent is John the Baptist.  We think of him as that harsh, say-it-like-it-is prophet who ate insects.  But what he preached was repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  Which he conveyed by baptism. [Read more...]

Legalism vs. Antinomianism vs. knowing the Master

Last Sunday our pastor preached on the dangers of falling into either of the two ditches along the side of the road:  legalism and antinomianism.  Both, he said, leave out Jesus.  He went on to explore what that means with a reading of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) that I had never thought of before. [Read more...]

Blessed vs. Successful

If only the Kansas City Royals would have hit it out of the park as often as our pastor does in his sermons, week after week.  On All Saints’ Sunday, with the text of the Beatitudes, he talked about how we confuse being “blessed” with being “successful,” and how the Bible gives us a very different picture. [Read more...]

Bondage vs. Freedom

Our pastor said that each one of us is a “filthy, rotten, putrid, maggot-infested cesspool of a sinner.”  But he meant it in a nice way.   See his Reformation Sunday sermon, drawn from John 8:31-36, on the bondage of sin and the freedom that Christ gives.  Excerpt after the jump. [Read more...]

Invitation to the Feast

The New Testament reading for last Sunday was the parable about the king’s invitations to the marriage feast–those who turned them down and those who were brought in off the streets (Matthew 22:1-14).  You’ve got to see what our pastor did with this. [Read more...]

Caution: Intense Law & intense Gospel

Sunday was the commemoration of St. Matthew.  In the Gospel lesson, Matthew tells about how Jesus called him, tax collector though he was, and how the Pharisees thought about him:

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesusreclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13)

Our pastor took this text and played off of the indignation that people are feeling about NFL stars Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.  He turned it into a powerful sermon.  Read it all at the link, but I give excerpts after the jump.  CAUTION:  INTENSE Law and INTENSE Gospel. [Read more...]


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