Posts from March 2014

Posts from March 2014

WHAT IF…?

Our sermon series on Jeremiah places us at the feet of a preacher who is a bronze wall, an iron barrier to the rebellious unbelief of his own people.  His 52 chapters, though home to some of the most comforting passages of the Scriptures, thunders against the thankless congregation of Judah. We tend to think of the Old Testament prophets as fusty old men, too worked up…

“THE BELT OF TRUTH”

In his famous summons to “put on the full armor of God” in Ephesians chapter 6, St. Paul says:  “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” The Roman soldier wore a heavy belt that guarded and supported his middle.  It was more than some decorative Elvis belt.  It allowed him to tuck in or gird up any loose-flowing robes or clothing to be prepared…

“SO THAT NO ONE CAN BOAST…”

St. Paul sums up the chief article of the Christian faith in that oft-cited passage from Ephesians:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” When it comes to our right standing with God, our justification, all of this is a done deal.  Our forgiveness is total,…

THE NAME WE BEAR

Our “cross-examination” in today’s text personalizes the dilemma of Simon Peter in the courtyard of Caiphas.  “Am I one of them?” Folks warming their hands around the fire notice the Big Fisherman. They think he looks familiar.  They start asking questions. “This man was with Him,” says the servant girl.   “You also are one of them,” says another.  Still another asserts:…

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

Our Gospel lesson from John reports the reaction of the crowd when Jesus finished His famous “Bread of Life” sermon:   “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” Every veteran pastor knows what this is like – the sullen look that says, “No!” to some plain word of God and storms out. This parting of the ways has been there: ever since…
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