A popular complaint among women is the problem of getting a guy "to commit." Well, sister, you're not the only one. Western culture spent centuries teaching men to commit themselves to one woman for life, and in practice this has meant teaching him to commit to his offspring. It has also meant giving him an important role to play in the protection of those children, and in his provision for them. Roe [v. Wade] wiped that out. It doesn't matter if a man commits or not anymore; our legal system has determined that such commitments are irrelevant. (79)
Reading Doug Wilson's Father Hunger today (Thomas Nelson, 2012). Doug does an excellent job diagnosing our culture's rebellion against God's design for masculinity, and of opening our eyes to the resulting mess:
Join us for CNCF Chinese New Year this Saturday at 5/6 PM at the Tutino House!
Though we like calling God "Father," we often have a very shallow picture of what it means to have Him as our Father. We want candy and hugs and kisses and back rubs and bedtime stories from God; and we're surprised when we get sickness, pain, difficult work, bad grades, sin committed against us, consequences for our sin, and strife with the people around us. What's the deal? If God is our Father, shouldn't our lives be pleasant and easy?
NOTE: This sermon manuscript (edited and polished) is part 3 in this semester's Killing Sin preaching series. Listen to the sermon here. Check out part 1 [read|listen ], part 2 [read|listen], and part 4 [read|listen].
In the first part of this series, we looked at death. We delved into the reality of your death, and the scriptural truth that death is God’s curse on sin, which, simply put, is rebellion against God.
In the second part we looked at the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and the truth that whoever looks upon the crucified Christ in faith will not die, but have eternal life.
Now, for a moment, I want to reiterate the importance of what we talked about last time. Remember what Jesus says in John 3: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man [that’s Jesus] be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish [die], but have eternal life.…He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
You must believe this. We’re going to start talking about overcoming sin and temptation in our lives, but if you don’t have the foundation of forgiveness and belonging to Jesus, nothing you can do will possibly save you. Remember, your sin must be crucified with Him. Your sin must be crucified with Christ, nailed to the cross. You must see the penalty of your own sins paid for in the bloody bruises and gashes on Jesus’ body. Remember, God tells us that those who belong to Jesus Christ "have crucified the flesh, along with its passions and desires." You must look to Jesus, the only righteous One, who died for sinners—for you—to forgive your sin. Unless your sin is forgiven and has already been paid for on the cross, you will not be able to accomplish anything in your fight against lust, selfishness, jealousy, laziness, anger, anxiety, bitterness, envy, greed…you name it.
Your being crucified with Christ by faith in His blood is the foundation of your entire life as a Christian. When you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you build your house upon the rock. If you place your faith in your own righteousness, you’re building a house sand; it may stand for a few days, or months, or years, but in the end, all of your efforts will be in vain—it will be just as foolish as thinking that eating the right food or following the right exercise regimen will give you immortality.
But now, if you have looked on the cure and been healed by the Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s work in your life is not done. God has forgiven you for a reason…
President Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast have been flooding the news, blogs, and even sermons this past week, and for good reason.
Speaking of prayer, and of Islam's militant advance upon the civilized world, Psalm 14:4 bears keenly on our current global situation:
As Christians, we should always be examining the fruit of our lives to determine the reality of our faith. Faith without works is indeed dead; so we should look at our thoughts, our actions, and our emotions, and measure them against the Bible's clear descriptions of what the work of the Holy Spirit should look like in our lives.
When we see good fruit, we rejoice at the work of God's Spirit in our lives, and we cheerfully continue to serve Him, producing more and even better fruit day by day.
But what happens when we don't see good fruit?
NOTE: This sermon manuscript (edited and polished) is part 2 in this semester's Killing Sin preaching series. Listen to the sermon here. Check out part 1 [read|listen], part 3 [read|listen], and part 4 [read|listen].
In John 3, we have the historical account of a man named Nicodemus coming to ask Jesus some questions in the middle of the night. Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews, a Pharisee, who knew the law and the prophecies of the Old Testament backwards and forwards. But he didn't understand the things Jesus was teaching. To help Nicodemus understand how someone can see the true kingdom of God, He talks about something that happened to the Jews in the Old Testament:
Received this email message last week, an issue of Inside IUB: Weekly news for faculty and staff from the Indiana University Bloomington Campus. This particular issue embodies IU's widespread promotion of rebellion against the Word of God in its ideals and programs. There are 4 sections in this one: "headlines," "features," "editor's picks," and "spotlights." (Don't ask me what the difference between all of these is.)
While I have no clue what the distinction between these sections, it appears to be a requirement that each one must have at least one article that vaunts IU's self-righteousness and parades its wickedness as goodness. Under headlines we get to "read about IU's annual GLBT alumni celebration weekend." Under features, we see IU's efforts to "end sexual violence on college campuses" (see why this isn't as wonderful as it sounds here). Under editor's picks (Did the editor not pick the other ones?) we're informed of an "opportunity" for IU faculty and staff to "learn more about meditation during an upcoming on-campus program" (trust me, it's not about meditating on the law of God, à la Psalm 1). And finally, the cherry on top, under spotlights we get a pitch for Bloomington's annual PRIDE Film Festival where homosexuals proudly oppose God and His Word.
Indiana University, whose motto is "light and truth," has left its first love (Revelation 2:4). The university which was once Indiana's State Seminary now has an saddening resemblance to Isaiah 5:20:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
NOTE: This sermon manuscript (edited and polished) is part 1 in this semester's Killing Sin preaching series. Listen to the sermon here. Check out part 2 [read|listen], part 3 [read|listen], and part 4 [read|listen].
You are going to die.
Yes, you—the one reading this—you're going to die. And you know it.
It's a reality you can't escape. You know it to be true biologically. All living things die, and you're no exception. Your body will get old. You will get weaker. And eventually you will stop breathing and your life will expire. "All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust" (Ecclesiastes 3:20).
In addition to a biological awareness of death, you know empirically that you will die. Meaning, you know by experience and observation that you’re going to die. None of your ancestors are still around, you've been to funerals, and perhaps you've even been present at the moment of death of a friend or a relative. The closer your relationship with someone who’s died, the more present the reality of death is to you. Perhaps you've even come face to face with dying yourself, and that trauma has given you a heightened awareness of death. Some have come so close to death that they cannot even explain how or why they're still alive.
Yet, while these evidences may point you to death's reality, the surest proof I can give you of its lurking presence is this:
Preaching the death of sin in the death of Christ on IU's campus this semester: Killing Sin, every Tuesday at 8 PM in Ballantine 304.