I wrestle with posting my sermon manuscripts. Why? First of all, often I don’t preach from a manuscript but only an outline or an expanded outline that might just look like scrap notes to others. So often I don’t have one. There is a deeper reason, however. Sermons are not written communication, but oral. Sermons are meant to be heard with the ears, received with the mind, and chewed on with the heart. In the moment. Because sermons are oral communication, what I preached yesterday to our congregation, while not dramatically different from my prepared script, is noticeably different. Some things were cut because of time. Some … Continue reading A Sermon for Election Day
I love the Bible because it does not argue in theological categories. When it comes to God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, it is black and white. The truth is, the Bible makes it clear that man is free and has the ability to choose. At the same time, the Bible is unmistakably clear God is sovereign. If he were not, he would not be “God.” In this wrestling match, somebody’s freedom has to be contingent on another. Do you want to be the one to say that God’s freedom is contingent upon yours? I don’t think so. One example of … Continue reading What Happened to Pharaoh’s Heart?
Spurgeon explains what it means to be legally dead before God (from a sermon on John 5:40, “You refuse to come to me that you may have life”). No being needs to go after life if he has life in himself. The text speaks very strongly when it says, “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” Though it saith it not in words, yet it doth in effect affirm that men need a life more than they have themselves. My hearers, we are all dead unless we have been begotten unto a lively hope. First, we … Continue reading Spurgeon on being “legally dead”
I’m starting an in-depth study of Romans, so throughout this year as I work through the book I’ll post some of my notes here on the blog. Here are some thoughts from Romans 1:3-4: Paul says that the gospel of God is directly “concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” The gospel is never removed from the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul does not give a … Continue reading Jesus: Son of God, Son of Man
This is one of my favorite hymns. It was originally a Chinese hymn, and it was translated by Francis P. Jones. It was most recently re-recorded by Matthew Smith on the Beams of Heaven: Indelible Grace IV project. * * * Translated by Francis P. Jones Music and Chorus by Andrew Osenga Father, long before creation Thou hadst chosen us in love, And that love so deep, so moving, Draws us close to Christ above. Still it keeps us, still it keeps us Firmly fixed in Christ alone. Though the world may change its fashion, Yet our God is e’er … Continue reading Father, Long Before Creation
Some missionaries have said that if the doctrine of election were true, they would never have become a missionary. Well, I say, “I am a missionary because the doctrine of election is true.” Where do I find this in the Bible? In Acts 18, Paul is in Corinth. You would not have found a more pagan city on the planet than Corinth in the first century. Yet Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you … Continue reading Are missions and the doctrine of election at odds? I don’t think so.