The Bible is NOT the Warm-up Act

How many sermons open with a speed reading of the Bible? The pastor stands before the congregation not fully prepared, still trying to collect his thoughts and hoping to create a last-minute opening, and begins painfully reading the sacred text. His dry and monotone voice coupled with both his (obvious) disinterest in the text and... Continue Reading →

Sermon Preparation: Outlining a Book

I'll spare you a trip through the pseudo-mystical phase wherein the preacher "gets alone" with God and through "divine revelation" receives his next sermon! It is frustrating to hear pastors say, "God gave me this message," or "God laid this message on my heart." Typically, that means (loosely translated), "I am just winging it" and/or... Continue Reading →

The Gospel & False Teachers

What’s it all about? The false teachers were claiming that a person must adhere to religious rituals or moral standards in order to be justified by God. According to Paul, those who preach this counterfeit gospel will be judged accordingly. The Apostle was confident, however, that the believers in Galatia would not be swayed by... Continue Reading →

Gideon: Coward, Conqueror, & Charlatan

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? As the cycle of rebellion, oppression, and deliverance continues, a new deliverer is introduced: Gideon, the farmer. The Midianites and Amalekites raids of Israelite farmlands caused Gideon to hide in a winepress to beat out his wheat, which certainly makes him look like a coward. However, when the angel of the... Continue Reading →

The New Life: Spirit-Empowered Living

What’s it all about? Paul is warning the Galatian Christians that although they have been set free from the bondage of their former lives they will continue to face the temptation to satisfy their sinful desires. Nevertheless, as those who are indwelt by the Spirit of God, Christians have the ability to overcome such desires.... Continue Reading →

The New Life: Serving & Loving Others

What’s it all about? While is it true that Christians are free from religious and ceremonial adherence to the Mosaic Law, they are not free to live in open rebellion or in ways that contradict the gospel (e.g., murdering, stealing, etc.). True gospel freedom expresses itself in the sacrificial service and unconditional love of others... Continue Reading →

Theological Themes of the Book of Judges

1. The sovereignty of God[1]: As the One who empowers both the oppressors and the deliverers, the LORD demonstrates His unquestionable control over human history. The contemporary reader may struggle with the notion that God uses unbelievers to discipline His people or, worse, that He would allow and instruct Israel to go to war against... Continue Reading →

When Every Man Creates His Own Religion

Micah and His Personal Priest: When every man creates his own religion. (Judges 17:1-18:31) 3And he restored the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, “I dedicate the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you.” 4So when... Continue Reading →

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